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December 15, 2019

Retailers prep for Black Friday

Walmart to offer employees Thanksgiving dinner

With the Black Friday shopping spree on the horizon, some retailers get a head start by opening the day before, in the hopes that shoppers will hit the checkout lines after their turkey dinners.

Walmart at 170 Cochrane Plaza will be open for its regular hours of 6am to midnight on both Thanksgiving and Black Friday, Nov. 28 and 29.

According to Walmart spokesperson Michelle Malashock, the company will serve  a free dinner to employees who work on Thanksgiving. In addition, those who work Nov. 27-30 will receive 15 percent off on a basket of products in December, on top of their usual 10 percent employee discount.

For the past two years, Walmart has given available hours during the holidays to its regular employees, rather than to temporary hires, according to Malashock.

“It has worked very well for us, and the feedback from customers and associates has been overwhelmingly positive, which is why we will do this again during the upcoming holiday season,” she said. “There may be some hiring on a store-by-store basis as needed, but the majority of our stores will be giving those hours to current associates.”

According to a survey conducted by the International Council of Shopping Centers, shoppers anticipate spending an average of $470 during this year’s holiday weekend, with an estimated $101.4 billion spent. Specific numbers for Morgan Hill are unknown.

But not every major retailer is getting in on the turkey day shopping frenzy.

Home Depot, Petco, Hobby Lobby and others will remain closed on Thanksgiving, but open late morning the following day.

The epicenter of Black Friday shopping in the South County is perhaps located at the Gilroy Premium Outlets.

According to outlets spokesperson Shannon Steffen, a majority of the stores will open at 6pm on Thanksgiving Day, stretching into the early hours of the next morning before closing at 2am. They won’t be closed for long, however, as the outlets’ hours on Nov. 29 will run from 6am to 10pm.

Steffen said some businesses in the outlets choose to hire temporary employees based on needs.

The California Welcome Center Gilroy, which is located in the outlets, will be one of the establishments open during the holiday hours. According to Executive Director Jane Howard, the welcome center typically sees visitors from Asian countries such as China, Japan, Singapore and South Korea. A number of shoppers are also from Canada, Germany and Mexico, she added.

“The team here at the California Welcome Center Gilroy is looking forward to welcoming hundreds of visitors to our center during the Thanksgiving/Black Friday weekend,” Howard said.

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