published Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

Let the shopping madness begin in the greater Chattanooga area

Shoes on sale are displayed at a store as the busy holiday shopping season begins.
Shoes on sale are displayed at a store as the busy holiday shopping season begins.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
Poll
Will you do any holiday shopping today?

Who’s open and when?

TODAY

Kmart — 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Target — 9 p.m.

Walmart — 8 p.m.

Sears — 8 p.m.

Toys R Us — 8 p.m.

H.H. Gregg — 10 p.m.

Friday mall hours

Hamilton Place, Northgate Mall and Walnut Square Mall — Select stores will open at midnight; the others will open at 4 a.m.

Bradley Square Mall — Midnight

Source: Survey of retailers

In the litany of life's great questions — paper or plastic? Boxers or briefs? — comes another whose answers fall on either side of a bright, unbridgeable line: shop or not?

Is Black Thursday, formerly known as Thanksgiving, an open window for eager spenders, or another beachhead in the annual assault on the holiday calendar by retailers?

For some Chattanooga Times Free Press readers, it's no contest. Among more than 75 comments posted on Facebook, only a handful of people were looking forward to hitting the stores this afternoon.

The rest were a variation on these:

"Are you crazy??!"

"A lady in a scooter ran all over my feet on a Black Friday past working in [an area retail store]. I can't remember if that was before or after a child peed under a clothing rack."

Still, many retailers believe opening today will help boost their bottom lines quickly at the start of the frenzied holiday shopping season.

However, one Facebook commenter, who apparently is still sore about the presidential election, asked:

"Did you ever hear of stores opening on Thanksgiving before Obama was elected president?"

Since the 2000s, Thanksgiving weekend has been the holiday season's best for shopping.Last year some stores began Black Friday sales on Thursday opening their doors before midnight.

about Judy Walton...

Judy Walton has worked 25 years at the Chattanooga Times and the Times Free Press as an editor and reporter focusing on government coverage and investigations. At various times she has been an assistant metro editor, region reporter and editor, county government reporter, government-beat team leader, features editor and page designer. Originally from California, Walton was brought up in a military family and attended a dozen schools across the country. She earned a journalism degree ...

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