By Michelle Dunlop Herald Writer
EVERETT — Wind whipped a flimsy tent as Milad Bughrara and his friends pitched it outside Best Buy at Everett Mall.
The Everett teenagers will celebrate Thanksgiving as they have the past few years: in line to pick up laptops and TVs heavily discounted for the holidays. Their tent was third in line at 2 p.m. Wednesday.
“It’s fun,” said Mohammad Abdelkader, 17. “This year, I’m looking for a TV — a Samsung or an LG TV.”
If the tent holds, their enthusiasm for the “Black Friday” deals of big-box retailers will not be dampened by forecast rain, chilly temperatures or a 34-hour wait until Best Buy opens at midnight Thanksgiving night.
Bughrara, 18, who plans to buy an unspecified laptop or tablet, thinks they’ll get better deals by shopping early Friday than they would online or later in the shopping season. As a student, it’s important for Bughrara to save money. After finishing at Best Buy, the teenagers and friend Massoud Othman will visit Everett Mall and perhaps Alderwood mall in Lynnwood or the Seattle Premium Outlets in Tulalip.
If camping out isn’t your Thanksgiving thing, you’ll still have plenty of opportunity to shop the sales. Many retailers have pushed their day-after-Thanksgiving deals back to Thursday.
“Though the Black Friday tradition is here to stay, there’s no question that it has changed in recent years,” Matthew Shay, president of the National Retail Federation, said in a statement. “There is a tremendous amount of excitement and anticipation surrounding retailers’ Thanksgiving and Black Friday promotions.”
The international retail organization predicts 147 million Americans will shop either online or in stores Friday, Saturday or Sunday. With increased competition online, retailers are looking for ways to entice shoppers. And that means extended hours.
“We saw a shift in how customers are shopping last year,” said Ron Boire, Sears chief merchandising officer. “Members told us some of them want to stay up late. Others like the idea of getting out early.”
This year, 32 shops in Everett Mall will open at midnight, up from 10 last year. The number of stores opening at midnight at Alderwood also soared this year to more than 70 from 25.
Other retailers, such as Wal-Mart, Michael’s and Target, will offer deals on Thanksgiving for consumers who are not interested in Thursday football or who want to work off a turkey dinner by shopping.
Bughrara and his friends won’t miss out on Thanksgiving dinner as they wait in line Thursday.
“This year there will be people in line cooking turkey,” he said. And “my brother and mother will bring dinner for us.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
6 a.m.: Kmart (closes at 4 p.m.) 7 a.m.: Fred Meyer (closes at 4 p.m.); Big Lots 8 a.m.: Sports Authority (closes at 1 p.m.) 4 p.m.: Michael’s (closes at 7 p.m.) 8 p.m.: Sears (Everett and Alderwood mall locations); Wal-Mart sales begin; Toys R Us 9 p.m.: Target; 60 stores at Seattle Premium Outlets, including Banana Republic, OshKosh and Sony
Midnight: Seattle Premium Outlets; 32 stores in Everett Mall, including Macy’s, Old Navy and Zumiez; more than 70 stores at Alderwood; Best Buy; Kohl’s; Sports Authority 4 a.m.: Sears in Marysville 5 a.m.: Fred Meyer; remaining stores at Alderwood; Kmart; Home Depot; Lowe’s; Cabela’s 6 a.m.: JCPenney; remaining stores at Everett Mall; Bed Bath &Beyond 7 a.m.: Michael’s; Nordstrom Rack 8 a.m.: Judd &Black; REI; Hobby Lobby