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Get ready for Black Friday: Check deals and plan ahead for a successful shopping spree

It’s that time of the year when impatient shoppers, waiting in line at stores across town, are all there for the same reason: to shop in the hope of finding bargain deals for Black Friday.

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, will fall on Friday, Nov. 27 this year.

Here is something to put into perspective: Is a $10 discount really worth the time and aggravation that ensues on Black Friday?

Of course, there are many different opinions and feelings held toward the day retail shops offer many discounts. There is the voice of the customer who is scrambling everywhere, searching for the right deals, and there is the voice and viewpoints of the employee, working on a day when most people are spending time with their family.

Would you rather be the employee, customer or neither of the two?

“I am definitely not excited for Black Friday,” said Allie Houghtion, an FGCU student who works for White House Black Market in Miromar Outlets.

Houghtion said the store does not announce its deals until the day before, and it isn’t much different from normal sales because it’s an outlet.

“Thankfully, the store opens at 10 p.m. Thursday as opposed to last year at 6 p.m., so I am looking forward to actually getting time with my family during Thanksgiving,” Houghtion said. “Thanksgiving for employees and me is usually strenuous. There is so much stress in making sure Black Friday is perfect.”

However, not all stores open doors at the late hours of Thanksgiving night. Sadie Fox, an FGCU student, works for Pink Pineapple in Bell Tower Shops, which is a privately-owned boutique, so it’s not open on Black Friday.

“Because of our store being privately-owned, we thankfully get Black Friday off,” Fox said. “However, due to Black Friday being a heavily impactful and affected day with the holidays rolling around, we still do some pretty great deals, including additional markdowns on already discounted items.”

For those planning to march in and out of stores next week, Fox and Houghtion have advice for you.

“Go with a game plan,” Fox said. “Know exactly what you are looking for and where you can find it. Also, go with a friend. It’s safer and more fun that way.”

Houghtion has a different point of view.

“Don’t shop. The sales aren’tthat good,” Houghtion said.
Tess Raines, an FGCU student, works at Kohl’s cosmetic and beauty department. She alsohas advice for FGCU shoppers.

“The best tip I could give to fellow students for Black Friday shopping is to get in there early,” Raines said. “Have your coupons ready and know what you want to get, so you can grab and go. It’s all about beating the crowd.”

One reputation Black Friday will never lose is how controversial this day makes people feel, such as how Black Friday is advertised to make us spend money on a whim.

Sometimes you can even find some items for the same price or cheaper a week later.

Looking at Black Friday from the opposite spectrum, Raines said it’s a lot of fun to watch people rush and grab what they want, as they go store to store.

“I’m a little excited for Black Friday,” Raines said. “I think we’re expecting a big crowd this year. Every year always seems to bring in a few more people than the year before.”

Raines even mentions special deals her store is offering in the cosmetic and home goods department.

“I know that we’re going to have quite a few bargains in there on gift sets and fragrances,” Raines said. “But there are some really awesome home goods and kitchen devices that are going to be really cheap on Black Friday, so that’s exciting. I never really had a bad Black Friday experience. Most people are just about as excited as the employees to be there.”

However, if you really want to be prepared with a game plan on Black Friday, Gulf Coast Town Center will be providing a survival kit, stocked and ready. Starting at 9 a.m. Nov. 27., the first 500 customers can pick up their Black Friday survival kit at GCTC’s customer service center. The kits include bottled water, gift cards, BOGO deals, snacks, savings coupons and other special offers.

Be prepared to look for deals being advertised within the next two weeks prior to Black Friday. Although most places wait until the day of or day before to show their special deals, places such as Dillard’s and Starbucks already have a little preview of what they will be offering on Black Friday.

Whether you’ll be participating on Black Friday or decide to stay home and relax with your family, there is one thing to keep in mind. Stores will be busy with exhilarating shoppers who have one common goal in mind: finding bargain deals during this chaotic day that only happens once a year.

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