Commercials depicting packed Thanksgiving dinner tables have already found their way to the airwaves and Christmas ornaments and garland sit among store displays. Other commercials remind seasonal shoppers that layaway is, in fact, available.
Yes, to anyone with eyes or ears, I suppose it's obvious. The holiday season is upon us.
And while Turkey Day, Christmas and New Years all join my seasonal mix, there's another event - I wouldn't necessarily call it a holiday - that creeps its way to this business reporter's calendar year after year.
That event? Black Friday.
In other words, the day-after-Thanksgiving shopping frenzy that has myself and other like-minded reporters up before dawn, speaking with shoppers and store management about this year's hot deals, their strategies to holiday shopping and the like.
In a word, it's exhausting. In two words: crazy exhausting.
But there's a certain adrenaline rush you experience when surrounded by eager shoppers sprinting into stores. Hard to explain.
This year, however, might be a bit different. No less jam-packed. Just ... earlier.
Reports went out last week that some stores plan to open their doors at midnight this year.
See, past years had most places - at least locally - opening up at 3 or 4 a.m. But stores say opening up even earlier is a way to urge people to shop, and also to meet customer demands.
Victoria stores are among the extra-early risers this year. Of those I've spoken with, both Target and Kohl's said they planned to open doors at midnight. Not everyone has set specific Black Friday hours, however.
As for me, these new times mean some extra business reporter planning. I need to sit down with the bosses to look at coverage - and maybe invest in an espresso machine to make sure I can keep my eyes open for these wee morning hours.
What do you guys think about the time change? Plan to hit up the stores or stay snug in bed?
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