Night owls will beat early birds to many after-Thanksgiving deals

FLINT TWP. — Fans of the Black Friday day-after-Thanksgiving shopping frenzy need not plan on a good night’s sleep before heading out to the malls, as more stores announce midnight openings this year.

Target, which has a store on Miller Road, was one of the first national retailers to announce a midnight opening, soon followed by Macy’s which has a store at Genesee Valley Center. Kohl’s, which has a store on Linden Road and Best Buy on Miller Road also have announced midnight openings so far.

No word yet from Wal-mart which held midnight openings last year at some of its stores not normally open 24-hours.

JCPenney and Sears stores located at Genesee Valley, are reportedly sticking with 4 a.m. openings this year.

Kristen Cassabon, marketing manager at Genesee Valley, said the mall will open its doors at midnight to accommodate several retailers who have indicated openings at that time. But the mall will officially be open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Black Friday plans still are being finalized as more information is collected, she said.

Toys R Us first broke the mold last year with a 10 p.m. opening on Thanksgiving Day but has yet to officially announce its plans for this year.

Kmart stores including the Miller Road location were open on Thanksgiving Day last year but also have yet to announce plans for this year.

Premium Outlets in Birch Run was first to launch local midnight madness openings several years ago and will continue this year.

The National Retail Federation is forecasting a 2.8 percent increase in holiday sales this year rising to $466 billion which is slightly higher than the 2.6 percent tenyear average but lower than last year’s 5.2 percent increase.

Last year, 24 percent of Black Friday shoppers hit stores before 4 a.m. and the number who turned out for midnight shopping in 2010 tripled from 2009, NRF said.

Black Friday kicks off a two-month season when many retailers net 25 to 40 percent of annual sales which often determines how many will stay afloat and who will be filing for bankruptcy reorganization or announcing going-out-of-business sales in January.

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