Retailers eye new opening acts for this Black Friday

Black Friday is actually starting on a Thursday in Carson City.

Walmart will lead the earlier-than-usual charge with a 10 p.m. opening tonight, and Kohl's and Target will open their doors at midnight.

Best Buy is officially opening at midnight but will challenge Walmart a bit by handing out tickets for some of its expected hot items starting at 10 p.m. Walmart will also offer its sales in phases.

"Our customers told us they would rather stay up late to shop than get up early, so we're going to hold special events on Thanksgiving and Black Friday," said Duncan Mac Naughton, chief merchandising officer for Walmart U.S.

And it's looking like more people will be out for Black Friday this year than the past two, according to a survey by the International Council of Shopping Centers and Goldman Sachs. According to the survey, 34 percent of shoppers older than 16 - 81 million people - plan to hunt the aisles this year, up from 31 percent last year and 26 percent in 2009.

"In addition to buying gifts, consumers overwhelmingly indicated that they would be looking for bargains on Black Friday for themselves, as well," said Michael P. Niemira, chief economist and director of research for ICSC, in a statement.

Shopping centers are expected to bring in almost $450 billion during the holiday shopping period, November through December, 2 percent higher than last year, according to the ICSC.

And Black Friday is a strong enough pull to drag in some local merchants.

Local Mary Kay saleswoman Carol Swanson is offering Black Friday specials all day Friday, with early birds being rewarded with a 30 percent discount between 6 a.m. and 7:59 a.m., with discounts gradually decreasing throughout the day.

Sierra Le Bone, at 880 S. Stewart St. in Carson City, will be offering Black Friday specials as an experiment to keep the store's momentum rolling after moving to the new location.

"This is kind of an exploratory" sale, store manager Fran Hunter said.

She said they placed an advertisement in the Nevada Appeal in hopes of persuading consumers to treat the pets in their lives as well as the people.

It is also hosting a Saturday sale, following a national trend encouraging people to shop at local stores for the holidays. Carson Vacuum and Cleaning Supplies is also participating in the Saturday sale, advertising 20 percent off its products that day.


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