PDT Staff Writer
Many retailers across the country made the decision to kick off the “Black Friday” weekend early this year, and many of the stores around Scioto County are following suit, featuring sales on Thanksgiving Day as well as on Friday — the number one shopping day of the year.
“Our specials begin tomorrow (today) morning at 6 o’clock. Lines will form a lot earlier than that, I’m sure,” Jim Bartram, store manager at K-Mart in New Boston, said. “We’ll be open until 4 p.m. Our lines usually form outside and we will be coming out with the items that we have that are really great deals. We’ll come out with pass out coupons. We’ll distribute those to the people there for those specific items, because we are limited on the supply of some items. So we’ll pass out these papers so it will assure them that they will get that item when they come inside. And it will let the other people in line know that we have no more of that items, so they can make a decision if they want to stay or move on to someplace else.”
Bartram said the store will close today at 4 p.m., then re-open four hours later at 8 p.m. with another session of door buster specials.
“We also will close at 3 a.m. Friday, and re-opening two hours later at 5 a.m. with another round of door busters,” Bartram said. “Three different events, and we will handle them all the same way with the pass outs, and we want everybody to be happy they came here and had a good shopping experience.”
Walmart in New Boston is open 24-hours-a-day, and will feature sales at certain times over the Black Friday shopping weekend. Walmart will begin their sales tonight.
“There will be one ad breaking at 8 p.m., and another one at 10 p.m. (today),” Walmart store manager Bill Mason said. “Then there’s another one (Friday) at 5 a.m. The one at 8 p.m. (today) is going to be mainly toys. The one at 10 p.m. will be mainly electronics.”
The ad for Friday at 5 a.m. covers a variety of departments from tools to home appliances to jewelry to clothing.
Judy Allen of Walmart said maps with locations of specials will also be available in the store.
New Boston Police Captain Steve Goins said off-duty officers will be working inside Walmart to help keep order.
“We (Police Department) have a contract with Walmart, and we will have officers there at Walmart during the Black Friday events for security and safety reasons,” Goins said. “If anybody does have a problem they should come and look for one of our officers who will be stationed throughout the store, and tell them what their problem is. We ask everybody to be orderly and to behave, because they can get out of hand with pushing and shoving, with bad tempers over trying to get sale items. We just ask everybody to be polite and get along with each other.”
Goins said the entire landscape in New Boston changes during the Black Friday weekend.
“We are expecting several thousand people,” Goins said. “Starting Thanksgiving afternoon and into early Friday morning, we’re expecting a huge influx of people in the village.”
One of the highlights overnight tonight is the around-the-clock operation of Subway inside Walmart, which will be open for overnight shoppers to place their orders.
Big Lots with locations on Gallia Street in Portsmouth and on Ohio River Road in Wheelersburg will be open today from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. until 11 p.m. Friday. Marsha Logan of Big Lots said specials will also be offered throughout the store.
Goins said there are certain precautions all shoppers should take to secure what they own and what they buy as the travel from one store to the other.
“You want to make sure you lock everything up in your trunk,” Goins said. “Don’t leave anything in sight. That includes not only items that you buy from a store, but any kind of a GPS system or cellphone you might have in your car. Ladies shouldn’t leave their purses sitting in plain view in their vehicles, no matter if there is nothing in them at all. It only takes a few seconds to break a window out and grab and run.”
Goins said, if possible, people shouldn’t carry large amounts of cash with them, but if cash must be carried, people should secured the cash somewhere on their bodies.
“If you can, take someone with you for safety reasons,” Goins said. “There’s strength in numbers. A criminal might not approach two people together.”
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.