Area retailers busy trying to woo holiday shoppers

dworthington@heraldonline.comNovember 27, 2013 

The newly expanded and remodeled Belk store at the Galleria in Rock Hill will be open 8 p.m. Thursday to midnight Friday for Black Friday shopping.

ANDY BURRISS — aburriss@heraldonline.com Buy Photo

  • Store hours

    • Rock Hill Galleria. Closed Thursday. Open 12:01 a.m. Friday to 10 p.m.

    • Academy Sports + Outdoors. Closed Thursday. Open 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday

    • Belk. Open 8 p.m. Thursday to midnight Friday.

    • Best Buy. Open 6 p.m. Thursday to 10 p.m. Friday.

    • CVS. Open 24 hours

    • Dick’s Sporting Goods. Open 8 p.m. Thursday to 10 p.m. Friday.

    • Dollar General. Open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday

    • Family Dollar. Open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday

    • Hibbett Sports. Open 10 p.m. Thursday to 11 p.m. Friday

    • JC Penney. Open 8 p.m. Thursday to 9 p.m. Friday.

    • Kmart. Open 6 a.m. Thursday to 11 p.m. Friday.

    • Kohl’s. Open 8 p.m. Thursday to midnight Friday.

    • Office Depot. Open 8 p.m. Thursday to 11 p.m.; 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday

    • Rite Aid. Open 24 hours

    • Sears. Open 8 p.m. Thursday to 10 p.m. Friday

    • Staples. Open 8 p.m. Thursday to midnight.

    • Target. Open 8 p.m. Thursday to 11 p.m. Friday

    • Toys ‘R’ Us. Open 5 p.m. Thursday to midnight Friday

    • Walmart. Open 24 hours

    • Walgreens. Varies by location, some open 24 hours

A real-life “Miracle on 34th Street” is playing out this shopping season, says Winthrop University marketing professor Jane Thomas.

In the movie, if Macy’s department store did something, then Gimbel’s department store responded.

In 2013, two of the stores helping to create a rush to shop on Thanksgiving are Kmart and JC Penney, Thomas said Tuesday.

Both stores have not been performing well and are pulling out all the stops to gain more customer share this holiday season. Kmart had Thanksgiving hours last year, but JC Penney was among the last major retailers to open with a 6 a.m. start on Black Friday.

Not this year.

Other stores offering Thanksgiving hours last year included Toys ‘R’ Us, Target, Sears, and Walmart, as most of its super centers are routinely open 24 hours.

This year, Macy’s will join the list of those opening Thanksgiving, the first time the store’s opened on Thanksgiving in its 155-year history. With Macy’s open, Belk will be open too, not wanting to lose any customers or sales.

And the list goes on. More than 30 major retailers have decided to open on all or a part of Thanksgiving. Kmart will open 6 a.m. Thursday with door-buster sales and remain open for 41 hours.

Some polls suggest people are turned off by opening for Thanksgiving sales. But Thomas said there are always the “adventurous” shoppers that enjoy the thrill of chasing the best deals.

And while the Internet offers attractive buying alternatives – and its own Cyber Monday sales – retailers will continue to push to get shoppers into their brick-and-mortar stores. Shoppers in stores are more likely to make an impulse purchase than online, Thomas said.

Weather and the lack of a blockbuster movie at the theaters will affect upcoming shopping days, she said.

While the big retailers will likely share customers by opening earlier and staying open later, several local retailers are content to rest on Thanksgiving, confident their customers will come during regular hours on Friday and then on Saturday which has become known as Small Business Saturday.

“The big retailers are just grasping for more sales,” said Daphne Mahon, owner of Legacy’s Child and Palmetto Shop on Herlong Avenue.

Mahon, who has owned the shop for 16 years, has tried opening earlier on Black Friday, even giving away doughnuts to attract customers. But the time spent wasn’t profitable, she said, “we will be there when our customers need us to be there.”

Gently used-clothing reseller Plato’s Closet is in the same shopping mall with Kohl’s that will open at 8 p.m. Thursday. But co-owner Kha Stewart said Plato’s Closet will keep its regular hours. “Thanksgiving is a day to enjoy,” she said. On Friday there will be a 20-percent discount, however.

The outlook for the holiday shopping season is “optimistically guarded,” several analysts have said. MasterCard estimates Black Friday retails sales will be about $20 billion, down from last year’s record $21 billion. Cyber Monday sales are expected to be about $1.8 billion, according to American Express.

Wells Fargo economists estimate that holiday sales will rise 3.7 percent over last year’s levels, roughly in line with the National Retail Federations’ projected 3.9 percent increase

Spending per person appears softer than last year, as the National Retail Federation’s holiday spending survey estimates the average holiday shopper will spend $737.95 compared with $752.24 last year

Regardless of the outcome of sales on Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, Thomas said some of the best deals of the season are still be announced. She said that the weekend of Dec. 15 may hold the season’s best deals.

Don Worthington •  803-329-4066

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