In this 2012 file photo, Jessie Downing and her aunt Laura Clark look for Black Friday deals at BrandsMart USA at around 6 a.m. Friday morning.
Closer to Christmas
At the last minute
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You can forget Black Friday. The new time to shop for the holidays is Brown Thursday — or the night of Thanksgiving.
For 2013, many stores are opening the doors earlier than last year on Thanksgiving night. Stores are opening as early as 6 p.m. Thursday evening, including BrandsMart and Best Buy.
About 140 million people were expected to shop over the four-day weekend, according to the National Retail Federation.
That doesn’t just affect the shoppers, it affects the employees in the stores.
After eating her turkey dinner, Nicole Andreas on the other hand has time for a quick cat nap before heading to work during the sales rush of Black Friday. She works at Pandora Jewelry in the Mall of Georgia.
“I am thankful that I always have Thanksgiving to spend time with my family,” the Suwanee resident said. “I am also thankful that Pandora has chosen to open at midnight instead of 8 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, so I have more time to spend with my family.”
The mall opens at 8 p.m.
Andreas has worked Black Friday for several years and has made a little tradition out of the hectic day.
“My mother has worked Black Friday as well for the past 10 years, so it’s something I feel that I am not missing out on family time,” she said. “My mother and I usually get a pedicure after our shift on Friday anyway.”
Since she and her co-workers will be at the store for awhile, they are trying to make the best of it.
“This year we are having a pot luck and wearing Christmas hats as our Black Friday fun,” Andreas said. “I really love working with Pandora customers and hearing the beautiful memories behind each charm and bracelets our customers own. Our customers are truly what makes working Black Friday not a big deal and more holiday fun.”
Pandora isn’t the only store opening for the holiday rush. The malls are open at 8 p.m. for the crush of shoppers expected to arrive Thanksgiving evening.
Mall of Georgia officials announced the first 250 customers to register at Guest Services beginning at 8 p.m. Thursday will receive a special holiday ornament.
In Buford, the big shopping weekend will also include an American Red Cross Blood Drive, which will be held on the upper level near Dick’s Sporting Goods. People can donate from noon to 5 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Donors may schedule an advance appointment by visiting redcrossblood.org and entering sponsor code “moga.”
Here’s a list of retail outlets with their opening hours for those creating shopping plans:
— Toys R Us: 5 to 9 pm. Thursday, 5 a.m. Friday
— BrandsMart: 6 p.m. Thursday through 10 p.m. Friday
— Walmart: Doorbusters start at 6 p.m. Thursday
— Target: 8 p.m. Thursday to 11 p.m. Friday
— Best Buy: 6 p.m. Thursday to 10 p.m. Friday
— Kohl’s: 8 p.m. Thursday to 1 p.m. Friday
— Discover Mills Mall: Midnight to 10 p.m. Friday
— Belk: 8 p.m. Thursday to 10 p.m. Friday
— Mall of Georgia: 8 p.m. Thursday to 10 p.m. Friday
— Gwinnett Place Mall: 8 p.m. Thursday
— Stein Mart: 7 a.m. Friday
Reuters Media Express contributed to this story.