By Joy Hampton
The Norman Transcript
Many Norman stores will open on Thanksgiving this year, getting a jump start on the sales offered on Black Friday, including many retailers at Sooner Fashion Mall.
“We have several stores that are going to be opening on Thanksgiving,” said Sooner Mall General Manager Lynn Palmerton. “We have a number of stores that are opening that evening.”
Old Navy is opening at 7 p.m. and the majority of the mall’s stores will be open by midnight.
“We have about 15 stores that will open at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving evening and will remain open throughout the night and all day Friday and will close at 10 p.m. Friday night,” Palmerton said.
The Black Friday shopping will kick off extended holiday hours. Longer hours will continue to extend throughout the holiday and some department stores will be open as late as 11 p.m. for holiday shopping.
“About 50 percent of our stores will be open at midnight on Thanksgiving and that really kicks off our holiday season,” she said.
Santa is already at the Mall to be able to speak with all the good boys and girls because there are so many he needs to talk to in Norman and the surrounding area, Palmerton said.
Many retailers along Ed Noble Parkway and in the University North Park shopping district will also open on Thanksgiving evening, check ads in the coming weeks for more details.
Most grocery stores are open on Thanksgiving these days so its never too late to buy that last minute ingredient needed for the perfect holiday dinner. At either Wrights Family Market location, 1440 N. Porter or 3623 W. Main, shoppers can also give back by donating $10 to a basic food package for The Christmas Store of Cleveland County. The basic package includes flour, sugar, rice, beans and peanut butter. Wrights has a goal of helping The Christmas Store with 700 of these food packages to benefit needy families and seniors throughout Cleveland County.
While Sam’s Club, 3400 W. Main, is closed on Thanksgiving Day, the store is hosting a holiday sampling event through Wednesday before the holiday.
A few small grocers will also be closed on the holiday including Natural Grocers, 1918 W. Main St., and Dodsons Health Foods and Vitamins, 1305 36th Avenue NW.
“We’re closed for Thanksgiving so people can spend time with their families,” said Angela Lock, manager at Dodson’s. “That enables, on that particular day, about 10 employees to be with family instead of working.”
Dodson’s is closed on Sundays year round.
“We’re closed on Sundays to give people time to spend time with families and in church,” Lock said. “The most important thing for us, is to be closed on Sundays to enable people to go to church and fellowship.”
Many small, local businesses will be closed on Thanksgiving, but most Norman retailers will reopen on Friday to participate in Black Friday sales and Small Business Saturday sales. Many are also offering some sort of bargains for Cyber Monday to compete with online retailers and keep shopping local.
“To combat Cyber Monday and encourage people to support local businesses, we will have 25 percent off any gift items in the store on Monday following Thanksgiving,” said Thompson Pool and Patio owner Mike Thompson.
Thompson Pool and Patio, 1400 24th Ave. SW, will be closed Thursday, Friday and Saturday to allow time for families. The store is always closed on Sunday.
“Our families do demand we spend one day a month with them,” Thompson said. “At national meetings we get asked about that. But around here, people understand that.”
They also understand closing for OU home football games if there’s an early kick-off, he said.
Thompson doesn’t feel like closing on Sundays and holidays has hurt business.
“We don’t close every holiday,” he said. But the store does close Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day as well as shutting down from Christmas to New Year’s each year.
Thompson Pool will celebrate its 35th Anniversary this coming year.
Black Friday is the busiest shopping day of the year and the Norman Police Department encourages shoppers to take precautions.
· Shop with a friend, especially after dark.
· Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
· Ditch the purse don’t carry wallets in back pockets which attract thieves working crowded shopping areas. Try a money clip, money belt or inside jacket pocket that zips. If using a fanny pack, wear it in front not on back.
· Remain aware of your surroundings, and understand that criminals may try to distract you with the intent of taking your valuables.
· Lock your car doors and stash purchases out of sight in the trunk.
The police department will have extra patrols in high volume areas throughout the holidays, including the bike team, foot patrols, and the Skywatch mobile observation tower.
If you see suspicious activity, report it immediately by calling 321-1444. If you are the victim of a crime, make a police report as soon as possible.
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