MARIETTA - As Thanksgiving weekend approaches, serious shoppers in the Mid-Ohio Valley plan to have their iPhones on super charge, have downloaded bargain-hunting apps like Black Friday.com and are toning their power shopping muscles.
Some may even decide to finish their Thanksgiving dinner and ask for a slice of Aunt Nancy's famous pumpkin pie to go - so they can fight the crowds and do some super early Christmas shopping.
Big-box retailers Wal-Mart, Kmart and Sears are fueling shoppers' fervor, by offering Thursday hours combined with plenty of doorbuster deals.
Photo by Sharon Bopp
Charlie Clay, owner of Dad’s Primitive Workbench in Marietta, hangs a poster for Small Business Saturday in his store window.
Kmart, no stranger to the concept of Thanksgiving Day shopping, is the leader of the retailing pack when it comes to offering early morning hours that start too early for most birds.
Kmart will be open from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. today.
Peebles in Marietta has taken its lead from the big three of big boxers. Store hours on Thanksgiving Day will be 8 p.m. to midnight, reported store manager Summer Mason.
"Some customers are excited about us being open because that gives them more variety (of stores)," she said. "Some customers are not excited. They think that 6 a.m. (Friday) is early enough anyway."
According to Mason, she and her staff are happy to be open Thanksgiving Day.
"We love the excitement in the business," she said. "Normally, family time is done anyway."
On Thanksgiving and Black Friday, Peebles will give away scratch-offs to the first 25 store customers. One customer each day will win a $100 store coupon.
"That's a first for us as well," Mason said.
Jenna Boley, 29, owner of Jenna's Salon at 248 Front St., Marietta, has mixed feelings about stores offering Thanksgiving Day shopping hours.
"I think it would be nice for them to be closed so people can enjoy their time," she said. "I think (retailers) are more worried about getting that money instead of what they should be thinking about."
Cheryl Ullom, 53, of Waverly sympathizes with a family member who has to work a 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift on Thanksgiving evening and Black Friday.
"You can't enjoy your Thanksgiving. You'll have to take a nap," she said.
Although Boley said she tries to do her Christmas shopping early "so I'm not bombarded just before the holidays," she admitted those big box doorbuster deals could tempt her.
"I probably would (shop Thanksgiving Day) for the sales," she laughingly said.
Angie Hindy, 26, of Marietta has no qualms about Turkey Day shopping.
"I love shopping no matter what. I will shop anywhere, anytime," said Hindy, who said she does about 75 percent of her shopping online.
Karen Pawloski, 48, of Beverly can remember thinking that Thanksgiving Day shopping was "horrible" when retailers first started the trend.
"But I admit that I have been one to get up at 3:30 or 4 in the morning," she chuckled.
In recent times, Pawloski said she has also been shopping "a lot more online."
However, she keeps some of her shopping dollars in Washington County too.
"I like to shop local businesses in Beverly and also in Marietta," she said.
Pawloski and others will have a chance to do some local shopping on Saturday during what's become known as "Small Business Saturday."
This movement, a day set aside to celebrate and support small businesses and all they do for their communities, is gaining momentum and recognition across the nation.
"People are aware of it," said Sylvi Caporale, co owner of American Flags and Poles at 276 Front St., Marietta. "They're saying to me 'I'm not going to the mall, I'm coming here.' That's really exciting."
"It's the flip side to Black Friday," said Mallory Greenham, ReSTORE Marietta's executive director.
Those shopping American Flags and Poles on Small Business Saturday will be greeted by store dogs Reo, Blue and Rusty-all wearing their Christmas collars- and Christmas music playing on the store's juke box.
The store will open at 9 a.m. Saturday.
"We usually stay until the last customer is gone. That can mean 5 to 9 p.m.," Caporale said.
Although shoppers can make their purchases anywhere, Caporale knows that her customers like the "feeling of belonging" at her store.
"It's the experience that they have," she said. "We want them to have what's special for them and what they really need."