Richmond County’s biggest stores are ramping up their stocks and staff to make sure this Black Friday meets the needs of all customers.
With special store hours in place — some stores are opening as early as 10 p.m. on Thursday for Friday’s sales — customers will have a chance to get a jump on holiday shopping.
This year, Walmart has made maps to enable customers to equip themselves with a game plan when they head to the supercenter on Thursday. You can find this map by going to www.walmart.com and locating your Rockingham store, according to general store manager Melinda Borom.
According to Borom, the 24-hour sales begin at 8 p.m. on Thursday, with deals on everything from toys to sheets to clothes and hardware.
“That’s our biggest sale,” said Borom on Tuesday, as her store prepared for the barrage of shoppers.
Two hours later, another sale begins at 10 p.m., and several electronics will go on sale, such as the Xbox 360 game console, the iPad with 16 GB storage and wifi, and an HP 15-inch screen laptop with 500 GB of storage.
“We anticipate a big crowd,” said Borom. “TVs are already selling out online. We’ve got extra staff and extra items.”
The final sale will begin at 5 a.m. Friday and will include guns and gun cases, tires, hardware like tools, jewelry, smart-phones and clothing.
For shoppers who already know they want a new iPad, Walmart will throw in a $75 gift card. The other hottest items on Walmart’s shelves are the 32-inch Emerson TV and the LG Blu-ray player. Customers who show up within the first hour of sales will get a gift card for the item they want if the store runs out, said Borom.
Meanwhile at Belk in Rockingham, general store manager Michelle Hollifield has hired extra holiday help.
“We open at midnight on Thursday and we’ll have sales until 1 p.m. Friday,” said Hollifield.
Some hot items on sale will be the Zeki tablet, which will be $89.99 after a $30 mail-in rebate, Rampage boots will all be $19.99 and a 19-inch LED HD TV that comes with a DVD player which will be $129.99 after a $20 mail-in rebate.
Chaps sweaters will be priced as low as $9.99, but the big news is that one of the first 200 customers will receive a $1,000 gift card at the door. At each Belk store, the first 200 customers will receive gift cards ranging from $5 to $1,000, said Hollifield.
JCPenney will hold its only sale of the year starting at 6 a.m. on Friday. Store manager Terry Greene said a new line of sweaters will be marked down 30 percent. Arizona skinny jeans will be on sale, as well as boots, jewelry and small appliances. Royal velvet towels will be $5.
Joining the anticipation of what Radio Shack has chosen to call “Hot Friday,” the store has also hired new help for the holidays. Store manager Bob Perkins said their Hot Friday Sale will begin on Friday, lasting from 6 a.m. until 9:30 p.m. Some of their most popular items this year will be the Samsung Galaxy S III smart-phone on sale for as low as $49, depending on the service provider, various laptops and Beats by Dr. Dre headphones.
Ollie’s Bargain Outlet plans to have an abundance of “door-busters” for its Black Friday event. Ollie’s does not typically have sales on inventory already stocked on shelves, according to the store manager Steve Humphries. They specialize in discontinued items and stock them at a bargain price readily.
“We don’t play games with our prices,” said Humphries. “We are the freight beast.”
Some of the new door busters arriving for Black Friday will be the 3D electric fireplace for $49.99, the Kodak wireless printer/scanner/copier/fax for $49.99, and 1,000 thread count sheet sets for $39.99.
Ollie’s will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, but will reopen at 5 a.m. on Friday.
Big Lots will have its sale from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Assistant store manager Yvette Bethea said they feature popular items such as the Emerson Android Tablet for $44.88, Emerson portable DVD player for $44.88, as well as numerous furniture sales.
— Staff Writer Dawn M. Kurry can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 15, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and Staff Writer Cassidy Odom can be reached at ext. 16, or by email at email@example.com.