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Five tips for Black Friday shopping

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This is the fifth year that several national chain stores are open on Thanksgiving Day.  Some shoppers like to head out right after the turkey is eaten. Some wait until the day after Thanksgiving — Black Friday — to snap up savings. And some skip the crowds and settle in front of their computers to click on bargains online.

Nowadays, of course, Black Friday is really a week at least. 

The day itself is still important to retailers; it’s still the biggest shopping day of the year, according to ShopperTrak. But it’s different. Online sales have blurred it into a full week of heavy promotions.

Whatever kind of shopper you are, here’s some advice from this retail reporter who’s covered her share of Black Fridays.

1.     Pick your times.  The afternoon of Thanksgiving Day is a more civilized time to shop, in my opinion, than the old days of 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. Black Friday doorbuster openings. GameStop is one of the retailers that gave up on remaining closed on Thanksgiving. The Grapevine-based retailer is opening at 4 p.m. this year because of customer demand. But will you see REI or Neiman Marcus ever open on Thanksgiving? Nah.  

2.  Be open to new ideas. If you don’t go to the stores, you’re going to miss out on what some of the best merchants on the planet have discovered for you. Remember, you can go to a store for ideas. It’s a different experience from browsing a pull-down list of categories on a website. It’s a chance to touch and feel.

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