Another Thanksgiving is upon us and with it comes the official beginning of the holiday shopping season, though you’ve probably seen decorations around town since Halloween and already heard Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” more times than is appropriate in November.
If you plan to start your holiday shopping on Black Friday — which each year seems to claim yet another hour of Thursday — the bad news is you’re already behind. According to the National Retail Federation, 56% of people surveyed the first week of November had already started their holiday shopping.
National Retail Federation President and CEO Matthew Shay said retailers have been adapting their sales to meet consumers’ demands. So, those Black Friday sales you’ve been waiting for probably already started.
Traffic and parking
The areas likely to be the busiest — and best to avoid if you hate Black Friday crowds — will be around the outlet mall in Southaven, Interstate 55 around the Church Road exit, and Poplar Avenue, generally, though the worst crowds will likely be from Goodlett Street in Memphis all the way east into Germantown. Also, with a Tigers’ football game Friday afternoon, traffic will be tight around the Liberty Bowl most of the day as well.
Thanksgiving and Black Friday closures
There are a few retailers that will not to partake in the official start of the holiday shopping season. Camping and outdoor gear retailer REI will, as usual, be closed both Thanksgiving and Black Friday, encouraging shoppers to get outside and enjoy nature rather than get in arguments in checkout lines.
Big box retailers
Most of the usual suspects — including Best Buy, Costco, Old Navy, JCPenney, Target, Walmart, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Macy’s — will open on Thanksgiving Day with hours and the quality of the sales varying by store. Many stores have online sales starting well before turkey day, too. Flyers with details about sales and hours have been posted by most of the retailers on their websites.