‘Black Friday’ will look a lot different

Donna Delgado, left, and Carol Hunter, of Hometown Crafts, prepare for the busiest shopping weekend of the year.

If you’re a dedicated Black Friday weekend shopper, your credit card and checkbook are ready and you don’t mind missing part of Thanksgiving holiday events. But under COVID-19 precautions, the shopping opportunities in 2020 don’t look the same as in years’ past.

Generally for this year’s shopping, some of the local shopping locations plan to be closed all Thanksgiving Day; and some will open a bit earlier on that Friday than usual.

As for those special items people have stood in line for in previous years, in some area businesses it’s now designated specials spread out over the four weeks of November. And generally the stores are counting on customers to regularly check the websites of their businesses to peruse the online ads.

Few contacted last week have any printed brochures available, nor are they expecting any that customers can take home and read over to make “wish lists.” The “holiday” exception this reporter found was a printed Walmart Toy Catalog near the entrances of the Kerrville store.

Some businesses are displaying their featured merchandise starting this week with large signs about the special prices; and their displays may be changing from week to week as they cycle through each store’s planned lists of more spread-out weekly specials.

Walmart

Kerrville’s Walmart Superstore will be open usual business hours through Wednesday of Thanksgiving week, but closed the entire Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, a first for Kerrville’s location.

And managers have a plan in place to create one-way traffic lanes for shoppers on “Black Friday” for the health and safety of shoppers and store “associates.”

The holiday shopping specials actually began on Nov. 7 and continue Saturday, Nov. 14 starting at 5 a.m. Shoppers are encouraged to visit the website at www.walmart.com for information on dates, times and ads, or get the Walmart app on their smart-phones.

After being closed on Thanksgiving Day, Keith Hoefel, asset protection assistant manager, said they will reopen at 7 a.m. Nov. 27.

“We won’t have one large event, but three smaller events,” he said, “to break up the numbers of shoppers in the store, to shop safely.”

He and his teams have worked out associate-directed lanes for shopping only on the customers’ right as they enter either the north or south doors. But they also are arranging a smaller “stop and shop” area in the middle, with items shoppers may want to take more time to look at.

“We’re going to allow up to 20 percent of the store’s capacity inside at once,” he said. “The whole store will still be open 5-9 a.m. those Saturdays, but with “Associates” guiding the shoppers.

This store also will have three online shopping events, with different “deals for days,” the Saturdays of Nov. 7, 14 and 28. Hoefel said customers can order items online one day, and an  “overnight team” in the store will fill orders and stage those orders on the store’s “patio” at the north “gardening” end, for pickup by assigned time and date by customers the following Sunday through Tuesday.

It’s almost a drive-through event, as associates will get each person’s order from the staging area and put the items in the customer’s vehicle.

Inside the store, he said associates and customers must wear face masks; and staff is sanitizing carts often every day.

They have a 56-page “Toy Shop” brochure that lists many items, and shoppers can find more online. One inside page near the front of it is a blank wish list a child, or a parent or grandparent, could use to make a list of his or favorites.

Hometown Crafts

Hometown Crafts will operate under normal business hours on Friday and Saturday, with extended hours listed for Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Sandra Welch, Hometown Crafts vice president said planned “great deals” for the Black Friday weekend, but shoppers should be checking in weekly.

“Like many other retailers we have already begun cutting the prices even more on seasonal product and gift items,” Welch said. “We have added a broader selection of rustic furniture and more Hill Country décor such as cowhides to our store as many people are now home more and want to make it more comfortable.”

Rustic Furniture purchased on Black Friday Weekend will have free local home delivery, Welch said.

Ashley Home Store

The Ashley Home Store at 1703 Sidney Baker will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, according to Letty Barnes, store manager, but they have been offering sales all during the month of November.

Their usual store hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, a small change from pre-COVID times.

“We’re not promoting them online, but we have in-store specials and quick availability. And for some items that are the most popular, such as mattresses and recliners, we’ve ordered more to have in stock.”

She said they are following COVID precautions in the store, and added, “Our store is big enough that people can spread out in here, but we are requiring our staff and customers to wear face masks.”

Moore’s Home Furnishings

A multi-page printed advertising brochure from Moore’s Home Furnishings at 120 Harper Rd. lists a series of “Special Buys,” Black Friday savings and bonus coupons, with financing information. The advertised furniture includes leather sofas, sofas with other “finishes,” recliners, dining room sets, bed frames and adjustable mattresses and bases.

Regular store hours are 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. The store is closed on Sunday. Call the store at 895-5311; and visit the website at www.mooreshomefurnishings.com for other information.

JC Penney

JC Penney in River Hills Mall will not be open on Thanksgiving Day this year. This store will close at its usual time on that Wednesday, and reopen at 5 a.m. the Friday after the holiday.

Closing time that Friday, Nov. 27, is still be determined, according to Supervisor Lisa Jones.

The www.jcp.com website includes ads for weekly specials, dated by each of the weekends leading up Thanksgiving. They are planning some special deals that will be offered only online. She said customers also may download the JC Penney app on their phones  

The Black Friday Sneak Peak, after the weekly specials leading up to it, can be seen at the website.

Usual store hours at this location at 200 Sidney Baker South in River Hills Mall are 11 a.m.to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Face masks are required to be worn by everyone in the store, Jones said, a company requirement; and they are following suit with other businesses to keep everybody as safe as possible.

Belk

This store in River Hills Mall will not be open this Thanksgiving to in-person shoppers.

But Kelli Annalora, omni manager, said customers who shop online at their website before the holiday might be able to pick up their orders at the store “curbside” or have the items shipped to their homes. Call the store at 257-6800 to ask about this option.

They will re-open on Friday, Nov. 27,  7 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

“We are following the COVID-19 precautions and asking customers to keep 6-foot distancing,” she said.

The week after the holiday, they will return to regular hours of opening at 10 a.m. and closing at 8 p.m.

Online shoppers and those wanting to add to their lists can visit www.belk.com to see their online multi-page brochure, and check on store hours.

Home Depot

At Kerrville’s Home Depot on Sidney Baker Street North, the store is closed on Thanksgiving Day, then open on Friday and on Saturday the store’s regular hours.

Online ads feature major appliances such as dishwashers, refrigerators, microwaves, ranges, and washers and dryers.

Assistant Manager Mac Harrison in the Kerrville store said they have been re-arranging items in stock for better accessibility by customers, in some cases taking items with special pricing out of the usual aisles and creating “end-cap” displays in the wider cross aisles for customers to look at with more space around them.

The website is www.homedepot. com for online shopping.

The company started running advertising for “specials” on Nov. 8 online; and customers are urged to visit their website for more details such as sneak previews of sales and the dates for those events.

Big Lots

At Big Lots in the 1300 block of Sidney Baker, Louis Casares, assistant manager, said they are not having a one-day sale, but a whole week of sales the week of Nov. 23-28. And they will be open from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.

They have printed flyers coming as of late last week; and Casares said he’ll know soon if corporate leaders are planning a big online sale starting 1 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, through www.biglots.com.

The store’s usual hours are 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday

Tractor Supply

The Tractor Supply store at 1305 Sidney Baker Street is another business that will be closed on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day.

They will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Black Friday; and their usual 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday of that weekend, and 9 a.m.-7 p.m. that Sunday.

There are gift ideas on the website at www.TractorSupply.com. And customers who have signed up for the store’s “Neighbors’ Club” will be getting emails about the holiday specials in the store.

Michael Broyles, one of the managers, said they are requiring face masks and social distancing; and they expect to have printed flyers and brochures in the local store during the week leading to Thanksgiving.

“Some items will be specific to areas and listed stores,’ he said, “and customers can call 257-0400 for more information.”

Office Max

General Manager Steven Hill said the chain store ownership had been working on four week-long ads to be published in various places, leading up to Thanksgiving weekend.

The Kerrville store will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, and open on Black Friday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The store is located at 307 S. Sidney Baker. Call 257-0088 for added information.

Lowe’s Home

Improvement Store

Lowe’s will be open on Black Friday; and Saturday and Sunday hours will be the store’s usual hours.

The online sales brochure for this Christmas season displays dozens of different appliances including those for kitchens, bathroom and laundry; plus tools and building supplies, and some Christmas decorations already at sale prices.

Those wishing to start with online shopping can visit www.lowes.com; including looking over their pages titled “Black Friday 2020.”

The Black Friday ad includes “Cyber Steals” in such categories as outdoor lighting, a multi-phase steamer, and a wooden sandbox. Other gift possibilities include appliances, bath fixtures, lighting and ceiling fans, home décor, tools, “outdoors” and small appliances.

They also offer purchasing online and requesting in-store pick-up every day.

Call the store at 792-9100 for more information.

Hobby Lobby

New in town this holiday shopping season is Hobby Lobby at 2101 Sidney Baker, near the Loop 534 light.

Manager Robert Padilla said the company website is www.hobbylobby.com; and their normal store hours are Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and closed Sunday.

They have weekly printed “sale flyers” at the front of the store, with “specials” noted for their crafts and home décor items, by price or percentage off; and the dates the listed specials are good. For instance, the flyer for last week said prices on it were good in the store Nov. 2-7 and online Nov. 1-7.

Padilla said they will be closed on Thanksgiving Thursday, but on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 27-28, they will open at 8 a.m. (earlier than usual) and close at 9 p.m. (later than usual).

Customers can call the store at 257-0144 for information.

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