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Black Friday sales bringing holiday jeer

Children wait with shopping bags inside Macy's on

Children wait with shopping bags inside Macy's on Black Friday 2010. (Nov. 26, 2010) Credit: Getty Images

Who will put the brakes on Black Friday?

Not the stores. They like starting the holiday rush with a pedal-to-the-metal race for bargains.

Not the shoppers, either. If last year's lines are any indication, the earlier the better for them.

And this year's post-Thanksgiving shopping season? Well, some major stores aren't even waiting for the post part.

The doors at Sears swing open on Friday at 4 a.m., which might sound crazy early but isn't. Target, Best Buy and Kohl's start welcoming customers just after Thanksgiving at midnight. And why draw the line there?

Both Tanger malls begin their Black Fridays at 10 p.m. Thursday, as does Walmart. At the local Toys R Us outlets, the vigil shopping begins at 9 p.m., even before the pumpkin pie has had a chance to digest. And just in case you're still shaking your head at late-rising Sears, Kmart is starting its Black Friday on Thanksgiving MORNING!

So who does that leave? It leaves the employees and their families -- feeling squeezed.

In a job market as tough as this one, very few of them are complaining out loud. But if the grumbling behind mall counters reflects anything -- if my email inbox reflects anything -- more and more retail employees are asking, "What about OUR holiday?"

Complained one Kohl's worker after being told to report at 11:45 p.m. Thursday for the overnight shift: "But I have 21 coming for Thanksgiving dinner! I could be a little bleary-eyed when the shoppers arrive!"

See you at work.


WEEK LINKS

1. Smarmy Monday

2. Tuesday Loseday

3. Who-What-Where-and-Wednesday

4. His-and-Hers Day

5. Black-and-Blue Friday


THE NEWS IN SONG:

Shoppin' 'til we're droppin': Robin Sparkles, "Let's Go to the Mall," http://tinyurl.com/getmalled


ASKED AND UNANSWERED:

Is the real Black Friday bargain just staying home? . . . Down 11,300 jobs October to October? Is that what the optimists mean by “LI’s economy bouncing back”? . . . Why not a World’s Fair Museum in Riverhead? Isn’t the old station on Railroad Avenue available — and historic?  . . . If Long Beach is really getting next September’s $1-million Pro New York surfing competition, how come the Quiksilver people haven’t phoned City Manager Charles Theofan? Did Tropical Storm Irene blow his number away? . . . How soon ’til ex-TV guy Andrew Kirtzman and his two Fire Island Pines partners rebuild their burned-out Pavilion? What’s Fire Island without a fabulous nightclub? . . . You mean the Long Island Bus privatization is going so smoothly, County Executive Ed Mangano says full flush ahead on privatizing Nassau County’s sewage-treatment system?


LONG ISLANDER OF THE WEEK: J. PATRICK LOONEY

Fourteen months ago, when Pat Looney was named chair of the Sustainable Energy Technology Department at Brookhaven National Laboratory, he vowed to enhance the lab's role "as a leader in developing and commercializing new and improved energy technologies." Now look! There was Looney on Friday, basking at the opening of the largest solar-power plants east of the Mississippi River -- 164,000 solar panels spread across 200 acres on the Brookhaven campus, producing 32 megawatts of clean electricity, enough to power 4,500 homes for a year. Built by BP Solar, it's a real public-private partnership. And Looney and his clean-power colleagues have only just begun. Set to open next summer on the lab grounds: the U.S. Department of Energy's Northeast Solar Energy Research Center, a state-of-the-art testing facility for solar and other renewable technologies. Shine, shine on!

Email ellis@henican.com
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