PITTSFIELD -- Some national retailers are launching the holiday shopping season by opening on Thanksgiving Day, but Massachusetts will be spared -- or denied, depending on your perspective -- the jump on Black Friday bargains, since the state’s so-called blue laws prohibit shopping on Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Early shoppers here in the Berkshires will still have plenty of options to shop early and seize Black Friday deals -- on Friday.
Nationally, Walmart is opening its stores at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving night, but the chain’s stores in North Adams and Pittsfield will both open at 1 a.m.
Sears in the Berkshire Mall in Lanesborough and Dick’s Sporting Goods in Pittsfield will both open at 12:30 a.m.
The Berkshire Mall itself opens at 1 a.m., which is the same time two of its other anchor stores, Target and Best Buy, will begin admitting customers. The mall’s fourth anchor store, J.C. Penney, will open at 6 a.m., two hours later than last year. Penney’s, however, will remain open on Black Friday until 11 p.m., which is an hour after the mall itself closes.
The BJ’s Club on Hubbard Avenue in Pittsfield opens at 7 a.m.
All 60 stores in the Lee Premium Outlets open at midnight Friday for the fifth straight year.
The Kmart in Great Barrington also is opening at midnight. But unlike the outlets, Kmart will close at 3 a.m., and reopen at 5 a.m.
None of the stores in
Some local businesses, as well as some in Northern Berkshire, plan to take part in "Small Business Saturday" this weekend, an event sponsored by American Express that encourages consumers to shop locally. Deidre’s Special Day in the Berkshire Common on South Street will also hold a "dash for the dress" event beginning at 8 a.m. on Saturday, and offer wedding gowns at low prices for the entire day.
Across the country, the number of shoppers who plan to hit the stores on Friday is actually expected to drop slightly from 152 million in 2011 to 147 million this year, according to a preliminary Black Friday survey conducted by the National Retail Federation.
This Thursday, Nov. 22, is the earliest Thanksgiving has fallen since 2007.
While a number of Massachusetts’ blue laws have been repealed over the years, the rules governing what days certain stores can be open remains in effect.
Though variances can be given in Massachusetts, the Department of Labor Standards is not issuing statewide approvals for permits for businesses to open on Thanksgiving Day or Christmas Day this year.