Black Thursday? Or what about Small Business Saturday?
The kickoff to the holiday shopping season is no longer just focused on the day after Thanksgiving.
Major retailers, including Kohl's, Target and Best Buy, will open at midnight on Thanksgiving to offer hot holiday deals.
Both Oak View Mall and Westroads Mall are giving their retailers the option to open at midnight as well. At Westroads, Younkers and Justice are among about 25 retailers that will open at midnight, said Jim Sadler, senior general manager of Westroads. Others plan to open at 3 a.m., and the rest of the stores in the mall have a mandatory opening at 6 a.m.
"We are viewing it as a soft opening," Sadler said of the midnight opening. "Our retailers asked us to do it, and I think it's worth trying."
Sadler said the push to open earlier is so retailers can "capture that extra retail dollar."
"As long as people keep coming out, retailers are going to keep opening earlier and earlier," he said.
For the first time ever, Walmart will begin selling some of its door-busters at 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day nationwide.
And the deals aren't a big secret anymore, either. Walmart already announced some of its deals. At 10 p.m., there will be specials on toys, home goods and apparel. At midnight, electronics deals will begin.
A few days before Thanksgiving, Walmart will post maps on Facebook and Walmart.com with the in-store locations of hot items. Since most Walmart stores are open on Thanksgiving Day, shoppers at most locations will be able to line up inside the store for the special-price items.
Staples, which is offering its deals from 6 a.m. to noon on Nov. 25, is another retailer that isn't keeping the hot items a secret, posting them on its website.
On Saturday, Nov. 26, small businesses around the country are offering special promotions, hosting events and finding ways to reward their customers. Mike Gerst and Joe Frost of the non-profit "Buy It Local Omaha" are among those working for a national initiative called "Small Business Saturday."
The group is offering every small business or locally owned franchise free "Buy It Local Omaha" window stickers to help consumers identify small businesses. According to BILO, for every $100 spent at a local business, $68 of it goes back into the community.
Nationally, American Express is helping to spread the word with advertisements and promotions involving card credits and free gift cards.
A Scooter's Coffeehouse is now open at 120th and Fort Streets.
The Nebraska-born chain has expanded into seven states and has more than 90 stores open and operating. The company anticipates exceeding the 100-store mark by early 2012. The first store, which opened in Bellevue in 1998, is still open.
What's that 'crack'?
More than 135 Hy-Vee stores in eight states will participate in a centuries-old ceremony Friday by simultaneously "cracking" giant wheels of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
The West Des Moines-based company dubbed the event, "The Crack Heard 'Round the Midwest."
At 11:11 a.m. on 11-11-11, these stores will simultaneously break open giant wheels of Parmigiano-Reggiano. To preserve the cheese's distinctive salty crunch, the wheels are "cracked" rather than cut.
Hy-Vee imported more than 19,000 pounds of the cheese from Italy for the promotion, enabling stores to offer it at $19.99 a pound. Following today's cracking, Hy-Vee stores will be sampling the freshly cracked cheese and offering recipes and serving suggestions.
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