For the last 21 years, Marnie Taylor and her sister have followed the same schedule on Thanksgiving Day.
Taylor, a 57-year-old Springettsbury Township resident, serves as an alarm clock for her younger sister, Darla Adam, whose first task of the day is to put pre-made pies in the oven.
Most of the day is spent cooking, eating and cleaning, which is why they've always looked forward to their post-dinner plan.
"Every year, like clockwork, after the food's all put away, we look at the sale papers and map out our route," Taylor said.
The route helps them navigate which Black Friday sales they want to snag and when they want to snag them, said Adam, 55.
For many years, that meant a nap before venturing out into sometimes "miserably cold weather" so they could be in line at 3 a.m. for sales that began an hour or two later.
But last year some retailers opened at midnight, and Walmart opened at 10 p.m., causing the sisters to skip their nap and hit the stores.
This year, they'll barely have time to put their Thanksgiving dinner dishes in the sink before they start shopping, they said.
On Thursday, two weeks before turkey day, Walmart announced it will open at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving, starting a wave of Black Friday sales that will offer new specials two hours later at 10 p.m. and again at 5 the next morning.
Guarantee: A highlight of the sales this year, a one-hour guarantee offered by the retail chain, caused Walmart's Black Friday ad to go viral Thursday morning.
Walmart is guaranteeing customers who stand in a queue, inside the store, between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Nov. 22 that they can purchase three electronics deals: a 16GB
Apple iPad2 with Wi-Fi for $399, which will also give customers a $75 Walmart gift card; a 32-inch Emerson 720p LCD TV for $148; and an LG Blu-ray Player for $38.
'Black Thursday': But one local shopper isn't in favor of the new hours, saying it cuts into the holiday too much.
"They may as well start calling it Black Thursday," said Lynne Bachelder, a 61-year-old Dover resident. "I don't agree with it. I think it's a shame. Thanksgiving is about family, not sales."
Earlier openings: In addition to Walmart, many other retailers are opening on Thanksgiving or starting their sales a little earlier on Black Friday.
Sears will also open at 8 p.m. Thanksgiving Day and will stay open until 10 p.m. Friday.
Kmart, which has been open on Thanksgiving Day for the last two decades, will be open a little longer on turkey day and Black Friday. The company announced it will be open from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thanksgiving Day before closing for two hours and reopening at 8 p.m. It will then stay open until 3 a.m., close for two more hours and reopen at 5 a.m. Black Friday.
Target will open at 9 p.m. Thanksgiving and have different deals at different times, including a $49 Nook.
Last year, Best Buy, Kohl's, Macy's and Target opened at midnight for the first time. Most of those retailers have announced they will open at midnight this year; Target is slated to open three hours earlier this year.
Having the stores open earlier helps shoppers, Adam and Taylor agreed.
"Now I don't have to have to worry about missing all the other deals if I go to one place at 5 a.m.," Adam said.
Instead, she and her sister will shop through the night on Thanksgiving and early in the morning on Black Friday.
"With the sales more spaced out, we can hit them all," Taylor said.
-- Candy Woodall can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.