The busiest shopping day of the year has arrived, and shoppers are strategizing their bargain hunting ... or just throwing themselves into the mix.
Retailers have to be organized to survive the deluge.
Retailers across the region have spent hours staging additional merchandise and scheduled extra employees to keep up with the shopping demands of Black Friday.
Francis De Souza, general manager of JC Penney in Yuba City, said the retailer opened at 2 p.m. on Thursday and will remain open until 10 p.m. today (Friday) so deal seekers could start shopping as early or late as they would like.
According to De Souza, the store put out 80-85 percent of their inventory on the sales floor prior to opening on Thursday to ensure shoppers can find exactly what they are looking for.
“We want to make sure everything is easy to find,” said De Souza.
De Souza said with the many sales offered at JC Penney in addition to the scratcher coupons ranging in value from $10 to $500 that have been handed out since the doors opened yesterday (and will be handed out until they run out), he expects another busy year.
Keeping with the more traditional Black Friday model, Lowe’s in Yuba City wasn’t planning on opening the doors until 6 a.m. today, but Jeff Leaman, merchandising assistant store manager, said shoppers didn’t have to wait for the doors to open to start scooping up deals.
“We have associates coming in at 2 a.m. to pull items for online purchases so people can come in Friday morning after we open and pick them up,” said Leaman on Wednesday.
According to Leaman, many of the Black Friday deals offered at Lowe’s hit the online marketplace at midnight.
Leaman said the store also has nearly every associate they employ working today.
“It’s going to be a very, very busy day,” said Leaman.
According to Leaman, roughly 125 associates will be on hand, instead of the usual staff of 75.
Retailers are not the only ones preparing for the busy shopping day; area restaurants expect to see an increase in foot traffic for Black Friday as well.
Chris Smith, general manager at Lumberjacks Restaurant in Yuba City, said in previous years the restaurant has stayed busy all day on Black Friday.
“We are busy from when the doors open at 6 a.m. until we close at 10 p.m.,” said Smith.
According to Smith, patrons can expect a waiting list during peak dining hours.
“Starting at about 10:30 a.m. or 11 a.m., we have a waiting list that can be a few hours long,” said Smith.
To handle the rush, Smith said they have scheduled extra cooks and wait staff for Friday.
“Come hungry and eat happy,” said Smith.
According to Smith, all regularly scheduled specials will still be in effect on Friday including the Early Bird Special that runs from 2 p.m.-4 p.m.