Holiday shoppers will be able to get an early start on Christmas gift shopping this week as retailers across the nation prepare for Black Friday. Historically, the day after Thanksgiving has been one of the strongest sales days for retailers, with special deals, early hours and other perks for visitors.


For this year’s deals, Walmart will focus heavily on electronics, with major deals on phones, televisions and other gadgets, store representatives said.


“Electronics is what drives a lot of our traffic into the store,” Assistant Store Manager Marsha Bridges said.


Among the major deals, Walmart will be offering a Onn. 40-inch Roku television for $98 and Apple Air pods and Apple watches for $129. A one terabyte Playstation 4 will also be on sale for $199, store officials added.


Like many retailers in recent years, Walmart in Sherman will be open on Thanksgiving evening. starting at 6 p.m. for early shoppers, but Bridges said line up will likely start as early as 2 p.m. Walmart has maintained a map that will allow shoppers to come within feet of each of the major sale items, including some that will be announced Thursday ahead of the sales.


In addition to shopping over the holiday weekend shoppers will also be able to purchase items in other ways including through the retailer’s website.


“In years past, people have taken video of people breaking down doors to get TVs, and that isn’t the way today,” spokesperson Ryan Trimble said.


Department store JCPenney will open its doors for shoppers starting at 2 p.m. Thursday and remain open until 9 p.m. Friday evening, giving late night shoppers a chance to seek deals on home furnishing, clothes and other bargains. Stores will also be offering coupons worth $10 off of a $10 or more purchase.


Among its sales for Friday, JCPenney will be offering Brookstone wireless noise-cancelling headphones for $59.99 and a Sharper Image tailgate speaker for $49.99.


“We are reminding customers to make the most of every day and every occasion by bringing together all the looks and products they love at prices that feel like a win. With carefully curated products that inspire new ideas, the perfect holiday begins at JCPenney,” said Shawn Gensch, JCPenney executive vice president and chief customer officer.


Small Business Saturday supports local retailers


In addition to Black Friday sales at larger vendors, smaller, local retailers will be holding their own specials over the weekend as a part of Small Business Saturday. Representatives with downtown Sherman and downtown Denison said businesses plan to hold events downtown to drum up interest and business following the major shopping holiday.


Sherman Main Street Manager Sarah McRae said the day focusing on smaller retailers first gained traction about a decade ago following a national campaign.


“I think in recent years people have gone back to supporting local and pushing your downtown,” she said.


McRae said several downtown businesses will be having sales on Saturday. For the third year, Glitzy Girls Boutique will be holding its annual Black Friday block party with specials, entertainment and displays on both Friday and Saturday. The event will start at 5 :30 a.m. Saturday in time for the 500 shoppers that traditionally arrive early.


Store owner Felicia Herron said Small Business Saturday has historically been a strong shopping day for the business, but it still pales in comparison to the sales that are done on Black Friday.


A Touch of Class will also hold events for Small Business Saturday, including a book signing with local authors. Younger shoppers will also be able to visit an elf workshop with the opportunity to buy gifts for parents and other family members.


Meanwhile, downtown Denison will celebrate the shopping holiday with a doughnut hole stroll through 22 of the district’s stores for an early breakfast and the chance to win a $500 shopping spree. City council member Brian Hander will be dressed in theme for the stroll as a doughnut and meet and greet with shoppers and business owners alike, Main Street Director Donna Dow said.


The shopping holiday has proven popular in Denison, but Dow said it was hard to quantify how much of an impact it has on local businesses.


“Just by the conversations we’ve had, a lot of people want to support our small businesses and shop small,” she said.