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"Black Friday" Shopping Begins in the Napa Valley

So much for the tradition of getting up early the day after Thanksgiving to shop "Black Friday" sales.

"Black Friday" Shopping Begins in the Napa Valley

The Black Friday conversations started long before this article was published and they're likely to continue long after as well. With so much talk about how to spend our hard-earned dollars, it begs the question, where will you spend them, too?

Stores large and small will be promoting specials and sales to go along with Black Friday. Whether they're a small, locally owned business or a large "big box" chain, vendors will be vying for your dollars.

Walmart has announced it will open its doors at 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 22, and offer holiday doorbusters while supplies last. These include deals on TVs,  iPads, an electric scooter for $79 and a steam mop for $39.

Not to be outdone,  Target and the Napa Premium Outlets are also planning all-out holiday shopping assaults.

Target's deals begin at 9 p.m. According to an ad leaked online, its best deals will be for TVs,  a Nook tablet, a  Nikon camera and an  Xbox 360 Kinect bundle.

“Everyone has to work. But they are going to have Thanksgiving dinner for us,” said a Target clerk in Napa, who was cautious about being identified. “I’m looking forward to it. It’s an adrenalin rush.”

Some stores at the Napa Premium Outlets will open at 9 p.m. and all will be open by midnight, said a spokesperson for the shopping center.

Walmart will offer its biggest deals from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Thanksgiving night. The store will offer three items at low prices—an iPad, a TV and a Blu-ray player. If the store runs out, you can still buy them at discounted prices, but you must register for them online by midnight and have them delivered to your local store.

Markie Fuller of Napa is more than willing to wait in line to get a bargain.

“I’ve waited in line before, and I have no problem waiting in line again. It’s all about saving a buck and getting the best deal,” she said.

“Napa is not like many of the big cities where people start camping in front of the stores days before they open for Black Friday. I don’t think I am one of those.”

Karen Murphy was waiting in line at Whole Foods in Bel Aire Plaza Wednesday after picking up last-minute items for her Thanksgiving feast.

“No way am I going to wait in any line just to get a bargain. I have my priorities, which include no elbowing, no tripping and more than ever getting up at 5 a.m., to get a great deal on a 50 inch TV.

Some customers and employees aren’t happy about Black Friday's incursion on a national holiday. There are  Facebook pages that urge customers to boycott stores open on Thanksgiving.

An employee who says she has worked at Target started a Change.org  petition that has drawn 200,000 signatures. And there have been reports that a group of Wal-Mart employees are  planning walkouts on Black Friday,  the Washington Post reported.

Amidst all of this, the viral "Small Business Saturday" movement continues to take hold, attracting local businesses to promote their specials via social networking. Small Business Saturday is “a day to celebrate and support small businesses and all they do for their communities,” the  U.S. Small Business Administration explains on its website.

American Express gets the credit for founding the shopping holiday, which got its official start on Nov. 27, 2010, according to the  Small Business Saturday Facebook page. Celebrating its third year on Nov. 24, the event drew over 100 million people last year, according to the  Small Business Saturday website.

To find local retailers that take part in the promotion, just visit the  Small Business Saturday website, click on “Find Out Where To Shop” in the menu at the top of the screen and type in your ZIP code.”

Craig Smith, Napa Downtown Association spokesman said, “Many Napa residents who might be going to the box stores this weekend will check out our downtown stores and compare the prices.

“Most of them will find  the downtown merchants have comparable prices. Plus the fact that shopping downtown Napa is much more relaxing, and everyone who does shop downtown is supporting local business,” Smith said.

Suisun City Patch contributed to this report.

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