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Black Friday remains alluring, overwhelming in Roseville

Some people won’t brave the crowds
By: Scott Thomas Anderson, Editor
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TELL US YOUR BLACK FRIDAY EXPERIENCE

Tweet us your deals and photos with hashtag #RosevilleBlackFriday

THANKSGIVING & BLACK FRIDAY OPENING TIMES:

Toys R Us: Open Thanksgiving at 8 p.m., remains open all the way through closing hours on Black Friday

Roseville's Target locations: Open Thanksgiving at 9 p.m., remains open all the way through closing hours on Black Friday at 11 p.m.

Old Navy: Open Thanksgiving from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. / re-opens at midnight for Black Friday

Westfield Galleria: Opens at midnight for Black Friday

The Fountains: Open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Black Friday

Best Buy: Opens midnight on Black Friday (lines form at 9 a.m. Thanksgiving)

The famous “four corners” of Roseville, also known as the Westfield Galleria, The Fountains and the north and south Creekside Retail centers, continue to be an economic force in the region, having already generated nearly $873 million in sales for 2012 — and that’s before the eager Black Friday crowds arrive.

Given the droves of shoppers expected to turn out on Nov. 23 to the four corners and other parts of Roseville, some area residents are still trying to decide if they will go through with braving the holiday war zone.

The Westfield Galleria is historically one of the most hard hit shopping centers on Black Friday. Some fans of the Galleria warn the Black Friday atmosphere can be like a jungle.

“When you see the little old ladies, be afraid,” warned Jamie Espinoza, a longtime veteran of shopping at the Galleria. “They’ll run you over.”

Julie Garcia, also a Galleria fan and Black Friday survivor, advises coming up with strategies to deal with a massive volume of people.

“Go with a group and bring someone who is not really into it,” Garcia said. “A person who doesn’t mind waiting in line while you shop.”

But not everyone in the area is planning on venturing out on the biggest shopping day of the year.

“I’m not going,” said Tammie Clark, who was strolling through The Fountains on Monday. “It’s just too crazy and chaotic. I went four years ago and things just got out of control.”

Tammie Clark’s sister, Amanda Clark, agrees.

“I don’t like the crowds,” Amanda Clark said. “I went last year. It was fun, but I started getting really claustrophobic.”

Another shopper at The Fountains, Don Smith, has also swore off Black Friday.

“I don’t get out there anymore,” Smith said. “I won’t mix it up in the crowds now. They’re too unruly, especially when they get to pushing and shoving.”

However, some national retailers will be going the extra mile to lure as many shoppers as possible to their Roseville locations, including pre-empting Black Friday by opening on Thanksgiving at 8 p.m.

Some Walmart employees across the nation have responded to this move by threatening the corporation with a Black Friday “walk-out,” which could see thousands of employees leaving their posts on America’s busiest shopping day of the year. The employees, part of a group called OUR Walmart, have also alleged a number of unfair labor practices, substandard health care and a culture a managerial retaliation against Walmart employees who speak up for themselves.

But Walmart is not the only company hoping to capitalize on beating Black Friday by having employees work on Thanksgiving. Roseville’s Toys R Us will open at 8 p.m. on the big turkey day and its two Target locations will open at 9 p.m. Old Navy, by contrast, will hold almost regular hours on the Thanksgiving, letting customers shop from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. — before opening again at midnight for Black Friday.

“I don’t think it’s right to make employees work on Thanksgiving,” Tammie Clark said. “They should have that time to spend with their families.”

Smith, a former union member, also understood why the development concerned people.

“I have mixed emotions on that,” Smith acknowledged. “During my career, I always complained when I was scheduled to work on Thanksgiving. But, on the other hand, I’ve met people who are glad to work it for extra money.”

Companies like Best Buy are already reaching out to customers with instructions for Black Friday. A Roseville Best Buy sales associate told the Press Tribune the customers will be permitted to start lining up for Black Friday at 9 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning. Tickets for various items will be given out at 10 p.m. that night, with the store opening two hours later at midnight.

Smith sees all of the commotion around Black Friday, from the unending lines to the arguments over working Thanksgiving, as symptomatic of broader social forces.

“I guess all of this stuff about Black Friday is just a sign of today’s times,” he said.