Black Friday starts early for some Auburn stores

Mixed reaction from shoppers on earlier door-buster promotions
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AUBURN CA - Black Friday is pushing up into Thanksgiving Day as retailers scramble to fill shopper needs.

For Targets in Auburn and around the country, that means moving the store opening from midnight for so-called door-buster specials to 9 p.m. Thanksgiving Day.

That decision was being met with mixed reaction in Auburn, including Target shoppers.

Target says in a statement on its website that this year’s holiday season will be “highly competitive” but also that the decision to start its Black Friday promotion on Thursday reflects changing customer needs.

“Many prefer to shop following their family gatherings rather than in the early hours of the morning,” Target said in a website statement.

For Auburn residents, there will be a choice of times to take part in door-buster promotions to secure loss-leader specials at larger stores, including Best Buy, Target and Kmart. The deals range from $199, 42-inch plasma TVs at Kmart starting at 6 a.m.  Thursday to the special buy starting at midnight Friday morning at North Auburn’s Best Buy on a Samsung “laptop essentials bundle” for $349.95.  

David Wilson said the Thanksgiving Day openings for Christmas-themed sales were fine with him.

“If they can make a dollar by doing it, that’s fine with me,” Wilson said. “And I also don’t have a philosophical problem with it.”

Stephanie Stuart of Auburn said she will be avoiding shopping door-buster promotions on Thanksgiving Day.

“I’ll be taking part in family activities,” Stuart said. “That’s more important to me. I can get the same deals online.”

Stacey Saldarriaga said she’s not taking part in the Black Friday shopping experience. On Wednesday, she was shopping at Target for some last-minute Thanksgiving items. 

“I’m staying away from all that madness,” Saldarriaga said. “I guess (having more door-buster sales on Thursday) spreads people out. But we should celebrate one holiday at a time. I’m not ready to start celebrating Christmas yet.”

Pat and Sharon Plunkett of Meadow Vista were also shopping at Target but not planning to be back on Thursday for the 9 p.m. door-buster opening.

“My kids are all planning to be here but I wouldn’t go out on that day for anything in the world,” Plunkett said.

Plunkett said, however, that he would support a special day of holiday shopping targeted at seniors.

“They’re the ones with the money,” he said.

While some stores are staying open Thursday, Dan Tebbs of Downtown Auburn’s Victory Velo bike shop said his business will take a day off for Thanksgiving but be open an hour earlier on Friday morning, with complimentary pastries and coffee from Hilda’s Bakery to start the holiday shopping season off.

“My employees wouldn’t want to be here (on Thursday) and I don’t think customers would either,” Tebbs said.