Page 1

November 22, 2012

Volume 120, No. 282 Copyright 2012 • Austin Newspapers Inc.

Cooking for the kickoff, P. 3 l Watch the pounds, cut the booze , P. 4 l Thanksgiving in the White House, P. 5

BLACK FRIDAY CONNOISSEUR Holiday invasion Stores bump up Christmas kickoff Austin Daily Herald

At this rate, we may have to rename Thanksgiving “Black Thursday.” Big-box retailers such as Walmart and Sears, including those in Austin, will open their doors at 8 p.m. Thursday — just as Thanksgiving dinner tables are being cleared in many homes. Target and Shopko — again, including their Austin locations — will follow suit at 9 p.m., enticing shoppers out of their homes during the final football game of the day. Not everybody is happy about it, but retailers are scrambling to make the most of what is expected to be a mediocre shopping season — even if it means cutting into a holiday traditionally reserved for family gatherings and decadent meals. “There’s a segment of the population who wants to drop their drumstick and immediately pick up a door-buster,” said Brian Hanover, a spokesman for Sears. “Our customers kept telling us they wanted more flexible Black Friday shopping hours.” The Austin Sears, located in Oak Park Mall, will be open from 8 p.m. until midnight on Thanksgiving, and then open back up at 4 a.m. Friday. “It just keeps getting earlier and earlier,” said Sara Toenges, Austin Sears store manager. Toenges said being open on holidays is just part of the retail business, although she added she’ll be drinking a lot of coffee.

See SHOP, Page 6

Matt Huber, of Bloomington, visiting local family, celebrates being let in to Target shortly after midnight as throngs of people showed up to take part in Black Friday last year. Herald file photo


lack Friday shopping may be edging earlier into Thanksgiving this year, but Austin resident Ellen Petersen isn’t fazed. For Petersen, the shopping extravaganza has become a longtime family tradition of bonding time and deal-hunting. She has gone shopping on every Black Friday for the last 12 years, and went sporadically before that, depending on whether she had to work that day or not. And this year, as several stores are set to begin their sales at 8 or 9 p.m. Thursday, she’s already starting to formulate a game plan. “I’m sure we’ll be out there shopping on Thursday evening,” she said, noting her first target would be Walmart. Not only is the store open early, but has in the past matched its prices to other stores. That could help eliminate a trip to another store. Her family eats its Thanksgiving dinner around noon, and wraps up the gathering by 4 or 5 p.m., so even some of the earlier store openings don’t conflict with her holiday. “I don’t really think for us it interferes with Thanksgiving,” she said. From there it will be off to

Ellen Peterson and her son, Stacey Rube, are just two of the many shoppers who converge on stores for annual specials after Thanksgiving, something they will continue with again this year Story by Kevin Coss I Photo by Eric Johnson

“It’s fun, exciting. I can get my son to shop with me one day a year.” -Ellen Petersen the stores with her son, Stacey Rube, who shops with her in person, while her daughter, Lori Winkel, joins them in spirit. She lives in Green Bay, Wis., where she also shops the Black Friday deals and has access to a different set of stores. Petersen and Rube keep in touch with her as they go so they can divide and conquer,

even across state lines. Coordination helps them minimize their waiting times and nab good deals before they miss out. “We have been known to wait in line if there’s a special item that we want,” she said. As for navigating the stores, Peterson said, they plan in advance where they want to go. She looks to

where the best deals are likely to be had, and when each sale starts. “They usually stagger the openings,” she said. “Last year, we actually went when Walmart started selling on Thanksgiving.” While on the prowl for one-day deals, she typically scopes out Christmas gifts for her grandchildren, and often looks at video games and movies. The sales are a good opportunity to purchase discounted toys to donate to the Marine Corps toy drive. Sometimes, she and her family turn their attention to big-ticket items. “We’ve actually shopped for computers just because they’re good buys,” she said. “If you’re going to buy them anyway, you might as well.” Last year, her son and daughter each bought a computer on Black Friday. But it’s not really about the low prices for Petersen. Black Friday shopping has become another way for her to enjoy spending time with her family. She still remembers how they took a break from shopping last year in the middle of the night to chat and have breakfast at a local truck stop. “It’s fun, exciting,” she said. “I can get my son to shop with me one day a year.”



Thanksgiving Extra

A special supplement to the AUSTIN DAILY HERALD

Tips for making a Tom & Jerry 1. Keep it simple — There are many recipes for mixing Tom & Jerrys, but Christenson sticks to the basics: Eggs, sugar, rum, brandy and hot water. 2. Make from scratch — Batter is available for this holiday drink at local grocery store, but the drink is most tasty when made from scratch, according to Christenson. 3. Whip it good — Christenson first divides the egg yolks from the egg whites and blends each separately with superfine sugar until they become stiff and “fluff up.” He then folds the yolk and white mixtures together. 4. Fine granulated sugar vs. powdered sugar — While some recipes call for fine granulated sugar, others recommend powdered sugar. Christenson only uses fine granulated sugar. “Powdered sugar doesnʼt blend as well; it doesnʼt dissolve as good,” he said. 5. Half and half — The liquor ratio is equal: half rum, half brandy. Christenson has no preference as to which brands of each he uses, so pick your favorite rum and brandy to make the drink your own. 6. Three easy steps — Now itʼs time to mix your drink. Grab a mug. Put hot water in the mug, followed by the liquor mix and top with the egg batter. 7. Top it off — Some recipes call for mixing in a variety of spices, including cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, vanilla and cream of tartar. Christenson doesnʼt mix any spices into his batter but offers a few flavor enhancers on the side. He said some of the Legion patrons enjoy sprinkling a dash of cinnamon on top, while others prefer to splash a shot of blackberry brandy on top — for a little extra flavor. 8. Mix in advance? — When Christenson prepares these warm spirits each Thanksgiving and New Yearʼs, he waits until that very day to make the mixture and doesnʼt plan to save any to serve at a later date. “Itʼs hard to save because it flattens and gets very liquidy,” Christenson said.

Do you know how to make the perfect Tom & Jerry for your holiday party? We didnʼt either. Thatʼs why we asked Bill Christenson, who has mixed these delightful holiday spirits for more than 50 years at the Leo Carey American Legion Post 56 of Albert Lea, for a few tips to mixing this retro holiday spirit. By Michelle Haacke I Photo by Kelli Lageson

See this story and more in the latest issue of Southern Minnesota Magazine.

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Thanksgiving Extra

A special supplement to the AUSTIN DAILY HERALD


Holiday games Houston Texans at Detroit Lions 11:30 p.m. CBS

Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys 3:15 p.m. FOX

Cooking for the kickoff

New England Patriots at New York Jets 7:20 p.m. NFL Network

After the turkey, dish out these snacks 1. CRUNCHY CARAMEL APPLE DIP

Serves 10 (1/4 cup each).

All you need 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped Juice of ½ lemon ¼ cup Hy-Vee brown sugar 2 tbsp caramel sundae topping ¼ tsp Hy-Vee ground cinnamon Hy-Vee cinnamon graham crackers, optional

All you do 1. Stir together all ingredients except graham crackers until combined. 2. Serve with cinnamon graham crackers if desired.

Nutrition facts per serving: 45 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 15 mg sodium, 12 g carbohydrates, 0 g fiber, 8 g sugar, 0 g protein. Daily values: 0 percent vitamin A, 2 percent vitamin C, 0 percent calcium, 0 per-

Recipes courtesy of

Jen Haugen Hy-Vee dietitian

cent iron.

2. POPCORN PARTY PIZZA Yield: 8 slices

All you need 3 tablespoons butter 1-10.5 ounce bag mini marshmallows 2 quarts popped popcorn 1 package red strawberry fruit roll up Green jelly beans, coconut, candy-coated pieces, etc. for decorating, as desired All you do 1. Spray a 12-inch pizza pan with cooking spray; set aside. Heat butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in marshmallows until marshmallows are melted. Stir in popcorn until well-coated. 2. Spread mixture evenly onto prepared pizza pan. Cut small circles (about 1.5-inch diameter) from fruit roll up and place on

pizza for “pepperoni” slices. Decorate as desired with jelly beans, coconut and candies. Allow to cool completely before cutting wedges to serve.

Nutrition per serving: 190 calories, 5 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 10 mg cholesterol, 40 mg sodium, 38 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 22 g sugar, 2 g protein.

3. CHEESY PRETZEL DIP Serves 24 (2 tbsp each)

¾ cup light beer Hy-Vee pretzels, optional

All you do 1. Beat dip mix, cream cheese and shredded cheese with electric mixer until combined. Gradually add beer; mix until smooth. 2. Cover and refrigerate 23 hours. Serve with pretzels if desired. Nutrition facts per serving: 70 calories, 4.5 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 15 mg cholesterol, 220 mg sodium, 2 g carbohydrates, 0 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 4 g protein.

Daily values: 4 percent vitamin A, 0 percent vitamin C, 10 percent calcium, 0 percent iron.

All you need 1 (1 oz) package ranch salad dressing and seasoning mix 2 (8 oz each) packages Hy-Vee reduced-fat cream cheese 1 ½ cup Hy-Vee shredded Colby Jack cheese

Survey: Retailers expect holiday cheer By Tom Webb Pioneer Press

Holiday surveys suggest this may be a holly jolly Christmas for retailers, but there’s disagreement over exactly how jolly. A new University of St. Thomas survey suggests that Twin Cities consumers are finally setting aside worries about the recession and the difficult recovery. It found that local shoppers plan to increase holiday spending by a robust 10 percent. “We’re not saying that the world is totally rosy,” said Lorman Lundsten, a marketing professor at St. Thomas’ Opus

College of Business in Minneapolis. But as folks regain confidence that their jobs and families are secure, “Now people are saying, ‘We might as well move forward and have a regular Christmas,’ “ he said. The 11th annual St. Thomas online survey was released Wednesday, Nov. 14, based on 304 households in the 13-county Twin Cities area, including two counties in western Wisconsin. Other surveys, both local and national, are finding similar optimism but forecasting more modest holiday gains. A Deloitte & Touche survey of 500 Twin Cities area consumers found that holiday

spending would increase by 3 percent this year. But it found that 58 percent of local consumers expect the economy to improve next year, compared with just 34 percent who thought so a year earlier. National surveys also have found a strong streak of holiday optimism. And another new holiday spending survey, released Wednesday by the International Council of Shopping Centers, found that one-quarter of U.S. consumers plan to spend more or substantially more on gifts this year. That’s the highest percentage in the nine years the question has been asked.

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Thanksgiving Extra


A special supplement to the AUSTIN DAILY HERALD

Booze busting bellies across country Study: Calories from alcohol nearly equal soda’s for US adults

Associated Press

NEW YORK — Americans get too many calories from soda. But what about alcohol? It turns out adults get almost as many empty calories from booze as from soft drinks, a government study found. Soda and other sweetened drinks — the focus of obesity-fighting public health campaigns — are the source of about 6 percent of the calories adults consume, on average. Alcoholic beverages account for about 5 percent, the new study found. “We’ve been focusing on sugar-sweetened beverages. This is something new,” said Cynthia Ogden, one of the study’s authors. She’s an epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which released its findings Thursday. The government researchers say the findings deserve attention because, like soda, alcohol contains few nutrients but plenty of calories. The study is based on interviews with more than 11,000 U.S. adults from 2007 through 2010. Participants were asked extensive questions about what they ate and drank over the previous 24 hours. For reference, a 12ounce can of regular Coca-Cola has 140 calories, slightly less than a samesized can of regular Bud. A 5-ounce glass of wine is around 100 calories. In September, New York City approved an unprecedented measure cracking down on giant sodas, those bigger than 16 ounces, or half a liter. It will take effect in March and bans sales of drinks that large at restaurants, cafeterias and concession stands.

ing calorie labeling on restaurant menus. It could set up a confusing scenario in which, say, a raspberry iced tea may have a calorie count listed, while an alcoholladen Long Island Iced Tea — with more than four times as many calories — doesn’t. “It could give people the wrong idea,” she said.

The study found:

VS. Should New York officials now start cracking down on tall-boy beers and monster margaritas? There are no plans for that, city health department officials said, adding in a statement that while studies show that sugary drinks are “a key driver of the obesity epidemic,” alcohol is not. Health officials should think about enacting policies to limit alcoholic intake, but New York’s focus on sodas is appropriate, said Margo Wootan, director of nutrition policy for the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a public health advocacy group. Soda and sweetened beverages are the bigger problem, especially when

it comes to kids — the No. 1 source of calories in the U.S. diet, she said. “In New York City, it was smart to start with

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sugary drinks. Let’s see how it goes and then think about next steps,” she said. However, she lament-

ed that the Obama administration is planning to exempt alcoholic beverages from proposed federal regulations requir-

—On any given day, about one-third of men and one-fifth of women consumed calories from beer, wine or liquor. —Averaged out to all adults, the average guy drinks 150 calories from alcohol each day, or the equivalent of a can of Budweiser. —The average woman drinks about 50 calories, or roughly half a glass of wine. —Men drink mostly beer. For women, there was no clear favorite among alcoholic beverages. —There was no racial or ethnic difference in average calories consumed from alcoholic beverages. But there was an age difference, with younger adults putting more of it away.

A special supplement to the AUSTIN DAILY HERALD

Thanksgiving Extra



Traditional Thanksgiving is a presidential thing T

raditional. Traditional! TRADITIONAL!! Oh how many times Cristeta Comerford hears that word around this time of year. So many times that the White House executive chef breaks into song to explain — ever so briefly, ever so cautiously. “I feel like belting out, ‘Traaaaaaaaa-di-SHUN!’ “ she trills, tossing an arm into the air, channeling her best Broadway-songstress vibe. Here in the snug, stainless-steel kitchen of America’s most famous home, generations of White House chefs have heard the same request for adherence to tradition that first lady Michelle Obama has delivered to Comerford since 2009. Our presidents and their families are forever asking for a Thanksgiving meal that will feel familiar to them, and, it goes without saying, to the American people. But tradition is a funny creature. It has a certain elasticity. Look beyond the predictable roasted turkey and the pies, peer around the not-so-stunning stuffing, and you’ll find presidential Thanksgiving menus that provide fresh little insights about each first family’s tastes and about the way Americans eat. The Obamas plan to celebrate at the White House on Thursday for the fourth year in a row. Logs will roar in the fireplaces on the first floor of the White House. Family and staff on an undisclosed guest list will gather. The host couple reflect their times, an era of organic-this and local-that. So, this Thanksgiving their menu features a kale and fennel salad, the main ingredients harvested from their history and headline-making White House Kitchen Garden, that potent symbol of the first lady’s healthful-eating crusade just steps away from the White House stoves. No creamy, gloppy, fattening dressing, either. Their fresh produce will be dappled with a dressing that would make a dietitian beam, blended from shallots, lemon juice, red wine vinegar and olive oil. Yet this is also a family not afraid of the occasional indulgence. Remember those presidential burger runs to Five Guys and Ray’s Hell Burger? Their Thanksgiving menu takes that tendency into account during the dessert course with not one or two, but six pies. Huckleberry? Okay, not so traditional. But each Thanksgiving, those helpful, anonymous White House sources remind us that the president’s favorite is the most traditional of all: pumpkin. The details of the Obamas’ private family gathering are treated with a delicacy approaching the handling of national security secrets. One drizzles out, though. William Yosses, the White House executive pastry chef, confides that

White house holiday holds true to past By Manuel Roig-Franzia I The Washington Post Story courtesy of the Associated Press


For White House Executive Chef Cristeta Comerford, Thanksgiving is all about bringing tradition to the nation’s most famous home. Metro image the president’s favored pie is jazzed up by some acorn squash to give it a dash of color and complexity — a far cry from the canned pumpkin pie that Yosses’ mother made when he was a child. Last year, Yosses used a sugar pumpkin, a variety that is smaller and has a firmer flesh than the bulky varieties most often turned into Halloween jack-o-lanterns. It’s a comforting notion, our president liking best what we like best on a national holiday that officially dates back to the “day of Thanksgiving” declared by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. But it lacks the flair of, say, George W. Bush, who sometimes sat down on Thanksgiving Day to an out-of-context Moreliastyle gazpacho, or William Howard Taft, the portly 27th president with the bushy mustache and the adventurous palate. Taft’s Thanksgiving turkeys competed for attention on his holiday tables with chubby Georgia possums, each with a potato stuffed in its mouth. Taft was a Cincinnatian by birth but a Southerner in his tastes, the newspaper accounts of the day noted. His Thanksgiving meal in 1910, thusly, was prepared by three cooks, “all Negro women, the very best of southern culinary artists,” the Detroit FreePress observed. Sadly, the names of these artists do not appear, this being long before the era of White House chefs appearing on “Iron Chef America” and becoming nationally recognized advocates for healthful cuisine. In the not-so-calorieconscious early 1930s, Eleanor Roosevelt talked about President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s love of oyster stew and browned sausages as Thanksgiving

William Howard Taft, the 27th president served Thanksgiving turkeys along with chubby, Georgia possums, each with a potato stuffed in its mouth.

Day mainstays. The Roosevelts’ Thanksgiving chestnut stuffing recipe called for roasting the nuts in “fat” (though it doesn’t say what kind), sauteing celery and onions in bacon fat, then tossing it all in melted butter: an arteryclogging trifecta. But by 1946, in the fresh aftermath of World War II, a measure of caloric restraint was restored. Come Thanksgiving, Harry Truman’s housekeeper, Mary E. Sharpe, was said to be counting presidential calories, and the White House menu kicked off dutifully with clear bouillon and curled celery. For Ronald and Nancy Reagan, the dutiful requirements had to do with scheduling. Their Thanksgiving wasn’t the extended feasting and football-

watching fest of the Obamas, who have celebrated each year at the White House, making them the first presidential family to have their Thanksgiving meal at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue since Gerald Ford’s. The Reagans wanted family members to arrive at their Santa Barbara ranch at precisely 5 p.m., their son, Michael Reagan, says. Dinner was served at 6, followed by coffee and dessert, and all but one or two overnight guests would be out by 8 p.m. No lingering. Joke swapping was a Reagan family Thanksgiving tradition, Michael Reagan says. While his father was running for president, Michael says, he told his father a joke that made fun of Poles and Italians. Reagan liked it so much that he retold it to a group of reporters who did what reporters do — they reported it — leading to a brief but intense flash of controversy and a hasty apology. The Reagans’ meal was always prepared by Ann Allman, the family’s longtime California housekeeper and cook, rather than the White house chefs or — certainly not — the first lady. “Nancy didn’t cook,” Michael Reagan says. “Nancy? We didn’t let her boil water.” Along with the traditional items, Allman almost always served persimmon pudding, using a recipe from Carolyn Deaver, the wife of Reagan’s deputy chief of staff, Michael Deaver. And there would be a Reagan favorite called monkey bread, a sticky glob of dough segments smushed together in a Bundt pan. Always red wine, too, a logical choice for the former governor of America’s biggest winemaking state. “My father got a lot of people drinking

red wine,” Michael Reagan says. And even though Reagan once famously sliced his finger with a carving knife, family tradition dictated that the president would carve the turkey with an electric knife, telling stories and Irish blessings all the while, Michael Reagan says. No political chatter allowed. The president, as ever, got to do and got to eat what the president wanted, a lesson anyone who cooks for or serves the nation’s chief executive learns at his or her peril. Walter Scheib thought he had created a masterpiece when he crafted a sophisticated Thanksgiving menu with dozens of items to show first lady Hillary Clinton. She reviewed it approvingly, but then looked up and asked, “Where’s the white-bread stuffing?” Scheib recalls. He stammered something about all the lovely stuffings he planned: oyster, corn bread. “All that’s fine,” Scheib recalls her responding.

“But if next year, there’s no Pepperidge Farm white-bread stuffing, you’re fired.” She said it with a smile. But Scheib couldn’t help but think she was only half joking. By then he was getting accustomed to dialing down the fanciness. While working in George W. Bush’s kitchen, Scheib showed first lady Laura Bush a 60-year-old balsamic vinegar. “This stuff was like juice from heaven,” Scheib says. The first lady, whose husband was known for his simple tastes and who cultivated a guy-you’d-wanna-have-abeer-with persona during his campaigns, was having none of it. “We can lose the pretense,” Scheib recalls her telling him. So much for heaven juice making it onto a Bush holiday table. One can only assume the unpretentious first lady might have approved of the lack of fussiness expressed by the humble saltine crackers that accompanied some of FDR’s Thanksgiving dinners or the Obamas’ macaroni and cheese. (Chelsea Clinton, the daughter of President Bill Clinton, was a macand-cheese fan as well. But when the Clintons arrived at the White House, she insisted on the boxed, storebought kind, Scheib says.) Holiday meals are “very personal,” he says. “In most cases they have their roots back in the childhood home.” So when the Clintons asked for a black cherry and Coca-Cola Jell-o mold with (egad!) canned black cherries, Scheib complied. He knew it evoked another, simpler time for them. He prepared it, though he considered that particular menu item outdated: “like something out of Sunset magazine or McCall’s or Redbook.” The day after the Clintons’ first Thanksgiving, Scheib heard from the first lady. “Where is the leftover turkey and cranberry sauce?” she asked. The first family eating leftovers? No way, he thought. He had already served the leftovers to White House staffers. “We ended up creating leftovers out of fresh stuff,” he says. Tradition was served.


Thanksgiving Extra


A special supplement to the AUSTIN DAILY HERALD

Shop: ‘We’re getting rid of Thanksgiving dinner, and for what? For a $300 flat-screen TV?’ From Page 1 “The only hiccup is Thanksgiving Day, that puts a strain on staffing, and making sure we have staff for the next morning,� she said. Last year, when stores like Target opened as early as 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving, it sparked protests from workers and shoppers who worried that there soon wouldn’t be any holiday left. This year, as retailers start even earlier, similar protests are underway: Target employees have started a petition to “save Thanksgiving,� and Walmart workers say they are gearing up for protests on Black Friday. “It’s ridiculous,� said Anthony Hardwick, a former Target employee who led protest efforts last year. “We’re getting rid of Thanksgiving dinner, and for what? For a $300 flat-screen TV?� But retailers think they have found a new pocket of holiday shoppers — those who aren’t eager to wake up early Friday for the traditional discounts but are willing to forgo Thanksgiving

dessert. Perhaps the earliest door-busters of the season will begin at 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving, when Kmart will begin selling high-definition plasma TVs for $200. The retailer has stayed open on the holiday for the past 21 years but only recently began offering Black Friday discounts a day early. “Over the years, the day has become bigger and more important,� said Andy Stein, Kmart’s interim chief marketing officer. “We’ve evolved from being open for lastminute Thanksgiving dinner needs like tin foil and gravy to doing doorbusters at 6 a.m.� Retailers say last year’s earlier openings drew a younger crowd of shoppers who prefer to stay up late rather than wake up early to snag deep discounts. Nearly one-fourth of consumers who shopped during the holiday weekend were at stores at midnight on Black Friday, up from 3 percent in 2009, according to the National Retail Federation. “Stores are tapping into something that is

Marcus Thompson wheels out a TV at Target early morning last year as shoppers rushed to take advantage of Black Friday deals. Herald file photo very real — there is demand for this,� said Adam Hanft, a brand strategist for Hanft Projects in New York. “The reality is, people start to get cabin fever after a while. They’re fighting about politics. They want to get out and do something.� The intrusion into Thanksgiving comes as retailers try to offset yet another expected year of tepid holiday sales. Overall holiday sales, which typically account for 40 percent of retailers’ an-

nual revenue, are forecast to grow 4.1 percent this year, down from 5.6 percent a year ago, according to the National Retail Federation. In their quest for sales, stores are looking for new ways to bring in consumers. And they won’t be satisfied with just one visit. Walmart, Sears and Target are staggering their Black Friday promotions, launching sales of coveted products such as iPads at specific times in hopes that shoppers

will return again and again to get the lowest prices. Walmart will release different deals at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving, and again at 5 a.m. on Black Friday. Target, Kmart and Sears have similar plans. “If [customers] want to go home, we’d love to have them come back at 5 a.m. the next morning,� Duncan Mac Naughton, Walmart’s chief merchandising and marketing officer, said in a conference call last week. Even so, analysts say

earlier opening times may not necessarily translate into higher revenue. The sales that stores rack up on Thanksgiving may eat into purchases that typically take place on Black Friday and the rest of the weekend. “I really don’t think it means very much,� said Maggie Gilliam of the New York-based research firm Gilliam & Co. “The earlier you get people in, the more likely they are to keep spending, but frankly, I wouldn’t read too much into it.� But as long as demand for Thanksgiving Day shopping remains high, retailers say they will continue to open earlier. “Shoppers have shown us that they love wrapping up their Thanksgiving meals, grabbing their coats and going shopping,� said Kathy Grannis, a spokeswoman for the National Retail Federation. “There are millions of people who do want to shop on Thanksgiving Day.� —The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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A special supplement to the AUSTIN DAILY HERALD

Thanksgiving Extra



Top 10 ways to get a Black Friday bargain 1. Read the ads: Preview the Black Friday sale circulars before hitting the stores. Not only will they appear in local papers next week, many ad slicks are now online at numerous Black Friday shopping sites. Make sure there is a bargain worth getting up in the middle of the night for. 2. Evaluate the deals: Not all Black Friday advertised items are great deals. Others will become available the weekend before Thanksgiving, on Cyber Monday, or in mid-December. Compare the ads to what the item is selling for online. For example, has been offering Black Friday deals throughout November. 3. Research the right product: A low price on a lousy product is no bargain. Check Websites like ConsumerAffairs for consumer reviews. Some publications feature reviews


n Friday, Nov. 23, millions of consumers will flock to stores to take part in the Black Friday shopping experience. They are drawn by the promise of bargains and the thrill of mixing it up with throngs of fellow shoppers. ¶ Unfortunately, the bargains are not always plentiful. While stores promote deep savings on a handful of highly desirable items, the prices of everything else are not much different from a normal shopping day. Edgar Dworsky, founder of, suggests going home with a Black Friday deal will require some advance planning. ¶ “Black Friday now starts on Thursday,” Dworsky said. “And for the first time, some stores are staggering their doorbusters, releasing different ones at different times. For Walmart, it is at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Thursday and 5 a.m. Friday, while at Sears it is at 8 p.m. and 4 a.m. “If you don’t read their circulars carefully, you may show up at the store either hours early or hours late.” —By Mark Huffman, Associated Press

by professionals. 4. Use coupons: To save the most, combine the primary ways to save: buy items at a good sale price, use percentoff/dollars-off coupons offered by some stores to lower that price even more, and look for items that also have a cash-back rebate. Keep in mind some Black Friday sale items may not accept coupons. If that's the case, the ads should say so. 5. Be an early bird: That may mean heading out on Thanksgiving night if you are

shopping at Walmart, Sears, Kmart, Kohls, Macy's and Toys“R”Us. Just keep in mind, the employees waiting on you will not be the happiest people in the world, having been dragged away from family celebrations by their bosses. 6. Beat the early birds: In some cases you may be able to start shopping before everyone else. Sears is letting its reward club members buy some doorbusters starting on Sunday, November 18. To plan for the real Black Friday, scope-

out key retailers on Wednesday before Thanksgiving to learn each store’s floor plan in advance. Avoid the crowds by ordering online since some Black Friday deals may be available on Thanksgiving Day or early Friday. Be warned, however, that stores are not generally good about indicating which items will also be available online. 7. Check the return policy: Before buying, find out the store's return policy. While many stores have extended their return deadlines

into January, others are clamping down by imposing restocking fees on certain categories of items, or by using a blacklisting database or returns tracking system to deny refunds to returns abusers. 8. Get a gift receipt: Make returns easier for gift recipients by asking the store for a gift receipt and include it in the gift box. Without a receipt, a refund may be denied outright, or may be limited to only an equal exchange, or to a merchandise credit for the lowest price the item has sold

for in the recent past. 9. Use the right credit card: Certain credit cards offer valuable free benefits. For example, don't be pressured into buying a service contract when you can get up to an extra year of warranty coverage free just by using most gold or platinum credit cards. Ask your credit card issuer what length warranties qualify for an extra year of coverage, if any. Some credit cards also offer a return protection guarantee. 10. Save more with pricematch guarantees: Keep checking the prices of the items you buy. Because many stores offer a price-protection guarantee, you may be entitled to get back some additional money if the seller or a competitor offers a lower price before Christmas. —Story provided by ConsumerAffairs.



Thanksgiving Extra

A special supplement to the AUSTIN DAILY HERALD

Army counts on the kettles Holiday drive ups its goal to $60K By Matt Peterson

aren’t being as honest about their situations. Because of those No, that’s not just reasons, the Salvation an incessant ringing Army is aiming for in your ears. It’s the $60,000 from its kettle Salvation Army’s andrive this year, up nual holiday kettle from the $45,000 goal drive, which kicked last year. In 2011, the off in Austin on drive surpassed the Thursday, goal and raised Nov. 15. $56,500 and BY THE And this helped bring NUMBERS the overall year, Salvation Army fundraising for volunteers Austin’s Salvaand employ- — 2012 kettle goal tion Army to ees are hop$139,000. For toing more tal fundraising, — Money raised in the Salvation people will 2011 through hear that jinArmy hopes for kettles gle and act $150,000 for upon it. next year’s “We are budget. — Overall 2012 seeing way One incenSalvation Army more of a tive that may campaign goal need,” said help is called Kris Maier, “Match the KetSalvation — Overall Salvation tle.” BusinessArmy volunes, churches Army campaign teer and speand other totals in 2011 cial events buildings that coordinator have kettles in in Austin. front of their Maier and Lt. David stores are encouraged Amick said the need to match the total dofor food, prescription nations inside that drugs, utilities and kettle for that day. housing assistance Businesses can conhas increased. Furtact the Salvation thermore, the local Army and pick any homeless situation is day to match a donastretching the Salvation. Then, each partion Army budget, as ticipating business’ people are starting to name will be broadabuse the privilege of cast on KAUS radio. that resource. The SalAs always, the Salvation Army lodges vation Army needs homeless at a local more volunteers, too. motel for up to three Those who want to nights; however, Amvolunteer may conick suspects some tact Maier at

$60,000 $56,500

$150,000 $139,000

Lt. Dave Amick helps kick off the Holiday Kettle Campaign Nov. 15 just off of Main Street at the Veteran’s Memorial. Eric Johnson/

“We are seeing way more of a need.” -Kris Maier, volunteer

Thanksgiving Extra 2012  
Thanksgiving Extra 2012  

Thanksgiving Extra, Austin Daily Herald