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Biz Buzz: the new Black Friday

Biz Buzz: the new Black Friday

Thanksgiving, the quintessential American holiday, has long been focused on family, food and football.

While the cooks have plenty to do in buying, planning and preparing the great feast, the holiday itself is pretty stress free with no gifts to buy and often with the major work being done by those on kitchen cleanup duties as others work on digesting the bird before the TV.

In numerous houses, the Black Friday shopping crowd spent part of their afternoon looking at newspaper ads and circulars as they plotted out — some with military precision — the final details for the early morning hunt for holiday deals.

Those long-standing traditions changed dramatically last year. Black Friday was no longer as much about getting up early as it was about staying up late. Some retailers pushed up opening hours so Black Friday was barely a second old when the doors opened. Opening times moved from 5 a.m. to 4 a.m. to 3 a.m. and then last year many stores opened at midnight.

This year, Black Friday turned into Black Thanksgiving.

That turkey dinner will barely be digested when shoppers who want to take part in Black Friday may be beating a path to the store’s doors. This year the hours are across the board, with big retailers like Target and Walmart opening earlier — Walmart’s first deals begin at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving and then go again at 10 p.m. and at 5 a.m. on Black Friday while Target opens at 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving and adds more deals at 4 a.m. on Black Friday.

Sears was one of the first to announce an early Thanksgiving opening but it picked a hybrid schedule opening from 8 p.m. to midnight and then opening later at 4 a.m. on Black Friday. Gander Mountain plans to be open on Thanksgiving until midnight and then open at 6 a.m. on Black Friday. Other department stores are opening later such as Best Buy and Kohl’s, which will open at midnight.

And a host of other stores are following more traditional routes for Black Friday openings with Mills Fleet Farm opening at 6 a.m., Menards at 5 a.m., Home Depot at 5 a.m., J.C. Penney at 6 a.m.

Costco is closed on Thanksgiving and opens at 9 a.m. on Black Friday.

While some have protested the Thanksgiving Day openings — people who say the holiday is lost in the commercial rush to Christmas or workers who in past years had time off with their families — the retailers have said the early openings are more family friendly for consumers.

In other lakes area developments:

The Gander Mountain building redevelopment project is still in the mix with interest reported for the spaces in front of the store, once an option for restaurants like Olive Garden before it landed farther south. But this time the interest is not from a restaurant.

Panda Express, the Chinese food restaurant chain, has indicated an interest in the Brainerd/Baxter area with a visit here to check out the region.

Family Dollar applied for a sign permit with the city of Pequot Lakes to go into the former Northern Food King building.

C-I Quarterbacks received a new premises gambling permit Tuesday from the Crow Wing County Board for the former restaurant on Highway 210 by the Brainerd Lakes Airport Oak Lawn Township in. Work has been going to renovate the interior of the former the former Hasse, and former Matty’s restaurant at the site.

RENEE RICHARDSON, senior reporter, may be reached at 855-5852 or Follow on Twitter at

Renee Richardson
Richardson is a Pacelli High School graduate from Austin, Minn., who earned an applied science degree from the University of Minnesota, Waseca, with an emphasis in horse management. She worked extensively in the resort industry. She received an associate’s degree from Central Lakes College, where she was editor of the Westbank Journal student newspaper, as well as a summer intern at the Dispatch. She graduated from St. Cloud State University summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and interned at the St. Cloud Times covering business while attending SCSU. She's been with the Brainerd Dispatch since 1996.
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