Retailers prep for Black Friday

Final holiday for closing Kmart

With the Black Friday shopping spree on the horizon, some retailers got a head start by opening the day before, in the hopes that shoppers will hit the checkout lines after their turkey dinners.

Target at 1790 Airline Highway in Hollister planned to open at 5pm Thanksgiving Day, closing at 1am. The store was to reopen at 7am for Black Friday, Nov. 29.

It will be the final Black Friday for Kmart at 491 Tres Pinos Road, whose owner announced earlier this month that the Hollister store will be one of dozens in California shuttering by February. The store was to beat out most retailers by opening at 6am. on Thanksgiving and closing on midnight, before reopening at 6am on Nov. 29.

Walmart at 7150 Camino Arroyo in Gilroy was to be open during its regular hours of 6am to midnight on both Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

According to Walmart spokesperson Michelle Malashock, the company planned to serve a free dinner to employees working on Thanksgiving. In addition, those who work Nov. 27-30 would receive 15 percent off on a basket of products in December, on top of their usual 10 percent associate discount.

For the past two years, Walmart has given available hours during the holidays to its regular employees, rather than to temporary hires, according to Malashock.

“It has worked very well for us and the feedback from customers and associates has been overwhelmingly positive, which is why we will do this again during the upcoming holiday season,” she said. “There may be some hiring on a store-by-store basis as needed, but the majority of our stores will be giving those hours to current associates.”

The Gilroy Premium Outlets last week were busy preparing for the swarms of people who come from all over the world in the hopes of finding a deal before and during Black Friday, Nov. 29.

According to outlets spokesperson Shannon Steffen, a majority of the stores were to open at 6pm on Thanksgiving Day, stretching into the early hours of the next morning before closing at 2am Friday. They weren’t to be closed for long, however, as the outlets’ hours on Nov. 29 are from 6am to 10pm.

According to a survey conducted by the International Council of Shopping Centers, shoppers anticipate spending an average of $470 during this year’s holiday weekend, with an estimated $101.4 billion spent. Specific numbers for Hollister are unknown.

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