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Shoppers at the ready

Thanksgiving Day means a lot of things to a lot of different people.

For some it’s about spending time with the family and for others, it’s about eating good turkey. But for some, Thanksgiving Day is a day of preparation.

Preparation, that is, for the biggest shopping day of the year.

Traditionally, Black Friday always brings out more shoppers and better sales than any other day.

Local stores are gearing up for large crowds and big sales, starting as early as 4 a.m. in some places.

Goody’s Family Clothing Store will open its doors at 4 a.m., and the specials will last until 1 p.m.

Last year, Store Manager Tim Mulligan said was the first year Goody’s opened its doors early, and he hopes for an even bigger turnout this year.

“Hopefully we’ll have people lined up waiting outside,” Mulligan said.

While clothing sales will be a priority, Mulligan said there are several other items besides clothing on sale Friday.

A $39 mini camcorder, a $39 digital photo viewer and several kids’ toys will add some variety to shopping at Goody’s.

Another hot spot for local shopping this year will, of course, be Wal-Mart.

While the store won’t actually close on Thanksgiving Day, Store Manager Bobby Brackenridge said sales will begin at 5 a.m. Friday. “With the economy and the prices we’ve got, we should be expecting a big crowd,” Brackenridge said.

Laptops and big screen TVs are what Brackenridge said will likely be the first items to go.

All black Friday sales at Wal-Mart are listed at walmart.com.

And across the street, Lowes will open at 6 a.m. for sales, that store managers said will beat their competitors.

Christine Holman, Lowes’ store manager, said the $29 Shop Vacs are the hot item on sale this year.

Other black Friday sales can be previewed at lowes.com, she said.

And for those who are looking to sleep in a little Friday morning, Peebles won’t be opening its doors until 7 a.m., and early bird specials will last until 1 p.m., said Store Manager Patty Stoop.

All children’s outerwear, holiday merchandise, fine jewelry and Nike and Timberland shoes will be on sale 50 percent off.

Stoop said shopping at Peebles will be a more laid back atmosphere than some of their competing stores will be Friday.

“We’re the more relaxed atmosphere,” Stoop said.

And while the economy may be in a big slump, that isn’t going to stop some local shoppers.

“I try to go every year,” said Lashayla Jackson. “I’m trying to get a Wii, so I will be at Wal-Mart at 5 a.m. to try to be the first.”

This year, however, crowds may not be as sizeable as before.

According to a report from the Associated Press, a poll from the Press-Register and University of South Alabama found nearly three-quarters of shoppers planned to not incur any debt in holiday shopping.

Another 52 percent said they would spend less, and 40 percent said about the same.

Only 4 percent, however, said they would increase their spending.