ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Shoppers took advantage of some pre-Black Friday deals at several Anchorage stores Thursday -- some of which were open for the first time ever on Thanksgiving.
The Anchorage Economic Development Corp. says this is the start to a six-week period that will make up a third of retailers’ annual profits.
While some shops offered early-morning doorbuster deals Thursday, several stores offered an alternative for those who don't prefer the pre-dawn rush.
Fatina Smith and her sister were on a mission Thursday: a shopping marathon for which Smith flew in from Sitka early in the morning.
“Oh, I’m shopping through the night -- Toys “R” Us opens at 10, Walmart, and I'm going to keep moving,” Smith said. “There's no stopping; we're going to keep moving.”
Sears district manager Bob Oldham says this is the first year the store has opened on Thanksgiving Day. It wanted to give those who work on Black Friday a chance to steal the deals -- or close to it.
“We do have different deals today than we have at Black Friday,” Oldham said. “There are different deals; we had to sequence it out so that we would be able to stay in stock on Black Friday on specific items.”
Some of the items are already on the floor, and Oldham says the store’s staffing will double to accommodate an expected line out the door.
Across town, Old Navy is expecting the same. This is the second year it’s been open on Thanksgiving, offering deals like pairs of jeans for $10.
“I was just looking for a sweater, I’m surprised -- there's a lot of good deal and discount prices,” said shopper Alex Perez.
Store manager Liz Hayes say everything present is on sale.
“A lot of poeple have come in today because they say, ‘I don’t want to shop tonight -- I don’t want to be in the long lines,’” Hayes said.
While spontaneous Thanksgiving sales offer smart shoppers a plethora of options, for those like Smith it's more efficient to execute a plan mapped out weeks ahead.
“I have a friend whose boyfriend is standing in line; we have it all planned out,” Smith said.
Old Navy will close at 8 p.m. Thursday and reopen at midnight. Sears will open for Black Friday at 4 a.m.
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