Traditionally, the holiday shopping season starts the day after Thanksgiving with Black Friday, but this year more St. Lawrence County retailers are getting an early jump — opening on Thanksgiving.
St. Lawrence Centre Marketing Manager Ronald J. Patnode noted that’s a big difference between this year’s Black Friday and Black Fridays from the past.
“The biggest change is what time stores are opening,” he said. “It’s all over the place.”
The Massena mall itself will open for business at 5 a.m. Friday, but several stores have different opening times, some earlier and even one that’s an hour later.
Sears will open at 8 p.m. Thursday and remain open through closing time Friday. Sears in Potsdam will open at 8 p.m., but then close at midnight before reopening at 4 a.m. Friday.
The Bon-Ton will be opening at midnight, and Bath & Body Works will be opening at 4 a.m.
J.C. Penney won’t open until 6 a.m., with a one-day sale.
“Customers can come at any time during the day,” store Manager Darlene Ward said. “We want them to be able to come at their own leisure, not ours.”
While the sales will be limited to while supplies last, Ms. Ward said “95 percent of the store will be on sale.”
Ms. Ward said trying to make things easier for customers is one of the reasons the company decided to eliminate door-busters.
Santa will be at the mall from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday.
“We think now that the election is behind us, people are feeling a little bit better. We’re looking forward to a good holiday shopping season.”
Other holiday events at the mall include a breakfast with Santa at 9 a.m. Dec. 8. Santa also will be available for photos with pets from 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 12, 13, 17 and 18.
The mall will also be hosting a 12 Days of Christmas promotion, in which shoppers who show receipts totaling $200 or more at the Customer Service Center will receive a $20 mall gift card.
Also getting in on the action Thursday night is Walmart. According to fliers included in today’s paper, Walmart has sales starting at 8 p.m. Thursday with another round of sales starting at 10 p.m. Thursday and yet another round kicking off at 5 a.m. Friday.
Lowe’s, which has stores in Potsdam and Ogdensburg, will be opening at 5 a.m. Friday. According to the flier, it is offering “Black Friday savings through Monday.”
Olympia Sports, with locations in Massena, Potsdam and Ogdensburg, will be opening its doors at 5 a.m. Friday with a variety of door-buster sales that its flier says will be in place from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The flier for Tractor Supply says the opening is at 6 a.m. Friday with some one-day sales, as well as a four-day sale that starts today.
Rite Aid, with locations in Massena, Potsdam, Canton and Ogdensburg, also is in the Thursday shopping mix, with a three-day sale that its flier says kicks off on Thanksgiving, when it’ll be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Big Lots, which has stores in Massena and Potsdam, will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving, reopening at 6 a.m. Friday.
Walgreens will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, with a focus on Thanksgiving Day shopping rather than on Black Friday.