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Black Friday Preview

Gale Smith, of Wakefield, Nebraska, shops at JCPenney at Southern Hills Mall in a 2015 file photo. The yearslong trend of stores beginning their Black Friday doorbuster deals earlier and earlier Thanksgiving Day continues this year. JCPenney is among the stores that will start offering special deals at 2 p.m. Thursday. 

SIOUX CITY -- Siouxlanders will barely have time to digest their Thanksgiving dinners if they want to get in line for the first Black Friday deals.

The shopping spree, which was once exclusively an early Friday morning affair, has morphed into Grey Thursday. This year, a long list of big box stores with locations in metro Sioux City will be open Thanksgiving Day.

JCPenney and Shopko are among the first to to open with door-busters starting at 2 p.m. Thursday. Best Buy, Kohl's and Target begin their Black Friday deals at 5 p.m. Thursday. Sears and Walmart follow at 6 p.m. 

Southern Hills Mall will be open from 6 p.m. to midnight on Thursday, though many of its tenants will keep different hours, or not be open at all. On Black Friday, the mall will open its doors at 6 a.m. 

Sears and its sister stores, Kmart, are looking to the holidays to build momentum after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in October.

"We want our members and customers to know that we're open to serve them online and in stores, both at Kmart and at Sears," Peter Boutros, chief brand officer for Sears and Kmart, said in a news release.

The Sioux City Sears, an original anchors at Southern Hills Mall, is the chain's last remaining store in Iowa. After closing at midnight on Thanksgiving Day, it will reopen at 5 a.m. on Friday for another round of special deals.

The Cherokee, Iowa Kmart, the discount chain's last Siouxland store, is one of 13 Kmarts nationwide scheduled to close. Because of its status, the Cherokee store will not be taking part in Black Friday promotions, according to an employee who answered the phone at the store.  

A number of retailers are sticking with the traditional Black Friday for the unofficial kickoff of their holiday sales, including Fleet Farm which opened its Sioux City store in the new Sunnybrook Village this fall. Bomgaars, Fleet Farm Hobby Lobby, Home Depot, Lowe’s Home Improvement, Menards, Sam’s Club, Scheels and PetSmart are among the other big box retailers that will be closed on Thanksgiving Day. 

Here is a rundown of opening hours Friday for those stores. 

6 a.m. -- Bed Bath & Beyond, Bomgaars, Fleet Farm,  Home Depot, Lowe's, Menards;

7 a.m. -- PetSmart, Petco, Sam's Club, Scheels and Staples;

8 a.m. -- Barnes & Noble, Hobby Lobby, Marshalls, Pier 1 Imports.

Some 164 million people are projected to shop between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, according to data from the National Retail Federation. Of those who do plan to go shopping, some 21 percent say they will do so on Thanksgiving Day. 

The American Marketing Association reported last year that online Black Friday sales rose to a record high of $7.9 billion nationwide, a spike of 17.9 percent from 2016. Online Black Friday transactions alone totaled $3.34 billion in 2016. 

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