Black Friday deals start at midnight

HOUSTON That's because the sales start earlier than ever at dozens of stores across the area.

Black Friday is not just for the early birds. This year the night owls can cash in on the bargains. From the Disney Store inside the Galleria to every store in the Katy Mills Mall, black Friday sales are starting at the stroke of midnight for the first time.

"The other part of this is to give you a leg up on the best toys as early as possible because we know there are limited number of items that some guests are going to want," said Cindy Jorgensen with the Disney Store. "So we want to give them as much time as we can."

The Disney Store will be the only Galleria merchant opening at midnight. The store will have extra security on hand and a special parking area set up under Borders Bookstore. Managers expect a big crowd because there will be midnight deals.

"Starting at midnight we will have specials running until 10am and it gives you an opportunity to shop here and get out early and get through your day and then get home and relax," Jorgensen added.

At the Katy Mills Mall they are setting up relaxation stations and kid friendly areas for the expected midnight crowds. The mall has valet parking, donut shops and gift card giveaways starting at midnight. Retailers say early shoppers will also see plenty of bargains.

"I think it is just a great opportunity for customers to get an early start on the shopping," said Jim Stout with Sun & Ski Sports. "The sales are going to be outstanding, basically we are going to have everything on sale."

While retailers say the economy is not behind the move to open early, consumers we spoke with believe the economy is the only reason stores are offering deals sooner.

"Absolutely, and I think everybody is trying to get done with what they are doing so they have a handle on what they are spending," said shopper Mary Lou McElligott.

Another factor in the early sales, fewer shopping days until Christmas. This year Thanksgiving is later than in years past so shoppers can expect to see earlier and deeper discounts, if they are willing to forgo some sleep.

"I get up at 4am anyway, but I am not going to Kohl's at 2am, period," said shopper Caroline Conklin.

So the big question is, will anyone show up at midnight to shop? Retailers say yes and they are planning for bigger crowds, offering more security and employees.

See Black Friday deals

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