Friday, August 22, 2014 · 5:37 p.m.

Black Friday sales abundant locally, online

Retailers work to keep up with competition on busiest shopping day

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According to the National Retail Federation, as many as 147 million people will shop in stores and online during the Black Friday weekend. (Photo: MGNOnline)

Locally owned retailers and national chains will offer extended hours and extreme discounts in an attempt to capture shoppers' attention—and credit cards—on Black Friday. 

On the biggest shopping day of the year, Hamilton Place Mall will open at 4 a.m., but some stores in the shopping center will open as early as midnight. 

“We’re excited about the official kickoff to the 2012 holiday season,” Dana Katterjohn, regional marketing director for Hamilton Place Mall, said in a prepared statement. “Hamilton Place offers something for everyone. In 2012, Hamilton Place has opened Golfsmith, Dressbarn, Clarks Shoes, Bar Louie and more." 

This year, Hamilton Place leaders have created a new program, called Give More Happiness, aimed at giving back to shoppers who brave the Black Friday crowds. 

Beginning on Black Friday and through Dec. 16, guests have a chance to win prizes, some of which are worth more than $1,000. 

Officials will give out the prizes at various times to random customers.

“The holiday season is a time of giving, and we are anxious to give back to our community and appreciate our customers for their patronage,” Dan Wolfe, general manager of Hamilton Place, said. “Give More Happiness acts of kindness are a fantastic way to wish our customers a happy holiday season and say thank you.”

Other local stores and restaurants, such as Embellish, Hixson Pike Diner, Insane Paintball/AirSoft, Mia Cucina and Rock/Creek, will also offer Black Friday deals. 

According to the National Retail Federation, as many as 147 million people will shop in stores and online during the Black Friday weekend. 

About 220 million consumers shopped during the same weekend last year, according to the federation's 2011 Black Friday weekend results survey. 

Federation leaders had predicted that number would be 152 million. 

NRF’s 2011 Black Friday weekend results survey, released the Sunday after Thanksgiving/Black Friday, found an estimated 220 million shoppers visited stores and websites over Thanksgiving weekend. Shopping results for 2012 will be released this year on Sunday, Nov. 25.

“Though the Black Friday tradition is here to stay, there’s no question that it has changed in recent years; already there is a tremendous amount of excitement and anticipation surrounding retailers’ Thanksgiving and Black Friday promotions,” National Retail Federation President Matthew Shay said in a prepared statement.

“It’s critical for retail companies to constantly evolve as consumers do, and right now, shoppers want great deals, good value and convenience—exactly what we’re seeing with this season’s late and early openings, price-matching, layaway and mobile offerings," he also said. 

According to Dealsnews.com, about 86 million consumers will use their smartphones to shop during the holiday season. 

Some stores, such as Target, are offering shoppers access to deals for its top 20 toys via QR code. 

Customer can scan a code with their smartphone to purchase the product for the advertised price via the Target app and get free shipping for their purchase, which is traditionally not offered without a minimum purchase to online shoppers, according to Dealsnews.com.

"What we aren't willing to do is let online-only retailers use our brick-and-mortar stores as a showroom for their products and undercut our prices without making investments," CEO and Target Chairman Gregg Steinhafel said, according to Dealsnews.com

Target will also match prices that customers find on websites, including AmazonWalmartBest Buy and Toys R Us

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