Niagara Gazette

November 21, 2012

Local stores kicking off Black Friday a bit early this year

Staff reports
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — Black Friday is upon the world and shopping fever is hitting Niagara.

The Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls is looking to take advantage of the frenzy with its annual Black Friday offerings to patrons.

This year features the return of the pre-shopping tailgate party in the front parking lot, complete with celebrity hosts and two large video screens which will run a live Facebook stream of comments made by people talking about the event.

The party starts at 9 p.m. and doors open at 10 p.m.

"We wanted to focus on crowd interaction this year," Julie Clark, marketing director for the mall, said. "We did the tailgate party a couple years ago and we decided to bring it back because we had shoppers lined up and we felt it would give them something to do."

Those who will line up need to take precautions as they do every year, she said. First, shoppers need to dress comfortably and stay hydrated, she said. Being safe is also key, as many people gathered in a confined area will likely cause issues, as witnessed in other retail outlets in recent years.

As for those great deals, shoppers are asked to continuously check the mall's website for up-to-date offers from all its retailers.

"The best thing anyone looking to participate can do is to go to our website," Clark said. "Our retailers are posting their deals on a daily basis, and some of our stores are changing their offers, adding even bigger deals as we go along."

The Fashion Outlets isn't the only show in town — Wal-Mart, Kmart and Sears are also starting early, all with specials starting at 8 p.m. Thursday.

Kmart is open regular hours on Thanksgiving with the first of its Black Friday deals coming at 8 p.m. The next wave of deals kicks off at 5 a.m. Friday.

Walmart also will stagger its sales. The sales giant will have specials at 8 and 10 p.m. today. The early sale is toy-heavy, while the 10 p.m. offerings are heavy on electronics like tablets, TVs and DVD players. The store will also have a more traditional sale round starting at 5 a.m. Friday.

Sears wil have a sale at 8 p.m. today. It will also have a second sale starting at 4 a.m. Friday.

Target’s Black Friday sales kick off at 9 p.m. today.

GET IN LINE Store openings tonight: • WALMART: 8 p.m. • SEARS: 8 p.m. • KMART: 8 p.m. * • TARGET: 9 p.m. • FASHION OUTLETS: 10 p.m. * Kmart is open 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. today as well