The focus of Thursday's "Pre-Black-Friday sales" will be on big retailers. But smaller businesses hope shoppers will take time out from the major retailers on Black Friday. Most can't offer doorbuster deals, but they can offer something national chains cannot.
The smaller retailers pride themselves on offering the personal touch, good customer service on the busiest shopping day of the year. Many are family owned, operating normal hours on black Friday keeping traditional standards. in fact, one store we visited has been displaying "Say no to shopping on Thanksgiving" stickers on products.
For some people, shopping at Homewood Toy & Hobby is nostalgic this time of year..
Amy Hardison anticipates a busy Black Friday for the family owned store - despite big retailers pushing Thanksgiving doorbusters. "We don't have special sales like everybody else, but like I said people much prefer to spend money here and keep it in the community, so we're always very busy."
And people do support this message even visitors. Bob Brody says, "When we come to Birmingham, we like to visit the small shops, it's a great retail area."
Many Mom and Pop stores are focused on families staying closed on Thanksgiving, even opening at 9-am on Black Friday.
Tracy Harris "A lot of people don't want to deal with crowds, fighting, things like that and we'll be busy, but we always keep it staffed where you can ask a question and come in and shop and you don't feel like you're getting pushed to the side". And it's that personal touch -- that Tracy Harris hopes will send Black Friday shoppers to Handy TV and Appliance.
He admits, some of the bigger retailers will have some doorbusters, but he says locally owned stores will also offer special deals this Christmas season. Harris says, "we especially on our appliance side have some things like that, some of our fridges are marked off hundreds of dollars."