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TMCNet:  Prepping for 'Black Friday'

[November 21, 2012]

Prepping for 'Black Friday'

Nov 21, 2012 (The Mountaineer - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- When it comes to Thanksgiving, people across the nation have turned shopping into as much of a holiday tradition as turkey and stuffing.

Every year, thousands of people pour into stores on the day after Thanksgiving, a day dubbed "Black Friday," in search of the best deals despite fighting crowds, staying up all night and enduring frigid temperatures.

By the time families have peeked through Black Friday advertisements and circled the best deals, however, retailers have spent weeks making preparations for the biggest shopping day of the year.

Jonathan Collins, general manager at Best Buy, has worked Black Friday for the past nine years, including his time at the stores in Mooresville and Charlotte.

Compared to bigger cities, he said Black Friday in Waynesville is much more calm.

"In Charlotte, people would run rabid, pushing people into displays and running over each other. It's not quite like that here, though," he said.

But even in Waynesville, a smooth running Black Friday doesn't come without plenty of preparation.

By the end of September, Best Buy distributes its "holiday playbook," which Collins described as a blueprint of what will happen on Black Friday.

About a week before Black Friday, every employee must participate in a "dry run," where managers put them in situations similar to what they will encounter during the sale.

"You lay out the entire store exactly like it will be on Black Friday so every associate, from working the cash register to selling cell phones, will know what their job will be," he said.

On average, Best Buy receives 25 percent more merchandise than usual, tasking employees with setting up extra displays and overstocking shelves.

This year, there is an overabundance of televisions and laptop computers, items that Collins expects will be the most popular. He also predicts any Skylanders video game product and the Xbox bundle will sell quickly.

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___ (c)2012 The Mountaineer (Waynesville, N.C.) Visit The Mountaineer (Waynesville, N.C.) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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