For Black Friday, retailers either 'going big' or 'going home'

For big box retailers like Walmart, Tuesday is the calm before the storm. Walmart's Amber Henderson says they'll be open all week -- 24 hours a day. Yes...even Thanksgiving Day.
  
But starting a little before 6 P.M. on Thanksgiving, they'll start lining people up inside the store for Black Friday sales that officially kick off at 6.
  
"95% of our items are also available to purchase online starting shortly after midnight on Thanksgiving morning.  So no matter how our customers want to shop, they can shop from home in their pajamas or they can get the deals starting at 6 pm on Thursday," Henderson said.

But is it worth the crowds?  Are the deals that good?

"Absolutely.  We've got TV's that are normally $1200 that are for $998.  We've got a great collection of smart TV's that you can't get at this price on a normal shopping day," she said.

Henderson says several items will be available for a one hour guarantee -- meaning anyone in line between 6 and 7 P.M. is guaranteed to get the item that day or have it shipped to a store.

"The iPad is one of our one hour guarantee items and it's available for $399, it's $100 savings," she said.

If you view Black Friday as "go big or go home," some retailers are quite literally going home.

Austin company "TreeHouse," a sustainable home improvement store won't be open on Black Friday.

"We're going to be closed on Black Friday. It's something we've been doing for the last three years now as part of the recognition of our employees, our customers...nature.  Just that idea of community matters, sitting around the table, enjoying your friends, enjoying your family.  That communal aspect of the holidays that sometimes we kind of get away from a little bit," said Store Director Travis Young.

Austin book store "Book People" is somewhere in the middle.

"The day after Thanksgiving is a big day for us but it's not a special day exactly.  We will have a lot of local authors coming in on Saturday for 'Small Business Saturday,'" said CEO Steve Bercu.

The day after Black Friday, "Small Business Saturday" is just like it sounds, a day meant to put the spotlight on local businesses.

Bercu said it helps the local economy.

"Of course there's zero local economic impact if you shop at online retailers.  Because they're not here and they don't do anything at all in the community," Bercu said.

Speaking of big shopping days, Bercu says Book People opens the afternoon of Christmas Day and the store is typically very busy.
 

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