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Cumming area merchants brace for holiday crowds
Many retailers plan to open Thursday night
shopping

CUMMING — Friday is the biggest shopping day in Forsyth County and that means a busy day for local merchants.

Steve Reed, the store team leader at the Target on Market Place Boulevard, said the retailer was going to have as many [checkout] lanes open as possible.

“We want to make sure that our shelves are full at this location, and that we have everything organized,” he said. “… It’s traditionally one of the bigger days of the year. Of course, everyone is familiar with Black Friday and the excitement of getting Christmas gifts early.”

Reed said the day was energetic and fun, but wasn’t sure how many customers they would see. He said the store would open at 6 p.m. Thursday and then stay open for nearly 30 hours.

“We’ll be open overnight, until the next day,” he said. “We’ll close at 11 p.m. on Friday.

“For a lot of guests, it’s a family event. A lot of people look at it as their kick off for their family Christmas season.”

Over at Belk in Cumming’s Lakeland Plaza, event coordinator Carrie Verbison said the day would be chaotic, especially since the store would be giving out 325 gift cards, one of which will be worth $1,000.

“We have definitely worked to secure some police presence in the store to make sure that everything is handled in an orderly fashion,” she said.

Like Target, Belk is opening at 6 p.m. Thursday, and Verbison said that due to limited-time offers the store likely would get thousands of customers.

“I think for us it is very chaotic in the beginning, just because we have our loyal customers who are looking to obtain the gift card,” she said “It’s very chaotic, but it’s very fun and energizing that day.”