Shoppers walk in and out of Macy’s at Alderwood mall where Black Friday deals are being advertised on Thursday, in Lynnwood. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Shoppers walk in and out of Macy’s at Alderwood mall where Black Friday deals are being advertised on Thursday, in Lynnwood. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Go ahead, hit snooze: Most Black Friday deals are online

Braving the stores on Black Friday is still a thing, but more retailers are closed on Thanksgiving.

LYNNWOOD — In years past, Susanna Clubb would get up at the crack of dawn on Black Friday and head for the department stores.

But no more.

“It’s just too early,” said Clubb, who was shopping Thursday at the Alderwood mall. The Lynnwood resident still plans to shop on Black Friday but her excursion will begin at a more civilized hour, she said.

Black Friday is still a popular shopping day: 115 million people say they plan to shop that day, but only 67% expect to head to the stores. The rest expect to wield their credit cards from the comfort of the couch or under the covers, according to the National Retail Federation.

And why not?

Many big box stores are offering the same in-store Black Friday deals, online, beginning Thanksgiving Day.

That being the case, you can snag a deal and still kill the alarm.

“I used to do Black Friday,” said Joanna Allen, who was previewing the goods in-person Thursday at Alderwood. Now, she’s among the millions who plan to save on sleep and shop online.

This year an estimated 166 million people are expected to brave the stores or shop online from Black Friday through Cyber Monday, about 8 million more than last year.

Most, nearly 70%, say they’ll be on the prowl for bargains, while others say a Black Friday shopping trip is either a family tradition or an excuse to escape the house, according to the National Retail Federation.

If you do go in-person shopping on Black Friday — never fear, trusty employees like Costco worker Bruce Erickson will help you find the deals and then locate the check stand.

“We’ve had thousands of people outside the store. We’re ready for it,” said Erickson, who was holiday shopping at Alderwood.

Costco will be closed, as usual, on Thanksgiving. The warehouses will be open from 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Black Friday.

Black Friday emerged as a retail ritual in the 1980s and 1990s.

The Black Friday frenzy reached an unfortunate milestone in 2008, when a Walmart worker on Long Island was killed by a crowd of 2,000 surging shoppers. Subsequent trampling incidents in 2011 and 2013 sent several people to the hospital. Fistfights and gunfire over parking spots have also marred the busiest shopping day of the year.

One solution to curbing the mayhem was to stagger sales over several days and offer online options.

Instead of one big day, the fervor is spread over a week that begins ahead of Turkey Day and extends through Cyber Monday.

In the last decade or so, a number of malls and department stores began offering Black Friday shopping deals on Thanksgiving. Some stores opened in the afternoon, others at midnight, though that trend is thankfully, some say, on the wane.

Cyber Monday, to encourage people to shop online, joined the consumer bandwagon. Then Giving Tuesday stepped in to remind us that it is better to give than to receive.

Small Business Saturday, created to help small businesses capture a larger share of holiday spending, is in its 13th year. Last year, small retailers and restaurants raked in more than $23 billion that day, a record sales high, according to American Express.

This year, Small Business Saturday falls on Nov. 26.

“We would love for everyone to come out and support the local businesses on Saturday,” said Liz Stenning, executive director of the Downtown Everett Association. “It’s really important to support local business,” Stenning said. (If downtown Everett is a destination, check out the new holiday lights, she said.)

If you hope to walk off a big turkey dinner by going shopping on Thanksgiving, plan accordingly. More big box and retail stores are closed on Thanksgiving, a trend that has accelerated since the pandemic.

“I’m OK with that,” said Valarie Schenken, visiting Alderwood from Redmond. “It’s Thanksgiving. People should get to spend time with their families,” Schenken said, referring to shoppers and store employees.

Target, Walmart, Best Buy, Kohl’s, Macy’s, JCPenney, Marshalls and Home Depot are among the retailers that are closed on Thanksgiving.

On the mall front, Alderwood in Lynnwood and the Everett Mall are closed.

However, most grocery chains and drug stores will be open on Thanksgiving on reduced hours. So if you burn the turkey or need whipped cream for the pie, do it in a timely fashion and don’t panic.

Tulalip Resort Casino is open 24/7 — every day of the year. Cabela’s opens at 8 a.m. on Thanksgiving, and cannabis shops — check their hours — will also stay open.

Janice Podsada: 425-339-3097; jpodsada@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @JanicePods.

Andrea Brown: 425-339-3443; abrown@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @reporterbrown.

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