Cell phone. Check.
Credit cards. Double check.
Weeks of planning and last-minute preparations are just about over and faster than you can say, “Hey, who ate the rest of the gravy?” — Black Friday is upon us.
Some stores are already open, welcoming shoppers with Christmas music and bargain prices.
But the real fun begins after the turkey is put away and grandpa is asleep on the couch.
The true “door buster” sales kick off at many retailers — including Walmart, Toy R Us and Kmart — at 8 tonight.
Walmart plans to offer its special sales about every two hours well into the wee hours of the morning. Among Walmart’s touted attractions this year is a one-hour guarantee that every shopper in line beginning at 10 p.m. will have the opportunity to purchase an iPad 2 for $399 with a $75 gift card thrown in or a 32-inch Emerson HDTV for $148 or an LG Blu-ray player for $38. If the store runs out of the item, Walmart said it will guarantee delivery of one before Christmas.
Round two of the store openings follows at 9 p.m. when Target opens its doors.
Macy’s, along with Kohls and Best Buy — where some shoppers have been camped out since last Thursday in Cuyahoga Falls — open at midnight.
Retailers waiting to open on Friday include Staples, Home Depot and Lowe’s at 5 a.m., J.C. Penney, Office Max and Jo-Ann Fabrics at 6 a.m., with Dillards and Hobby Lobby at 8 a.m. on Friday.
Most retailers — and even area malls — plan to open early with specials to lure in shoppers.
Joining the shoppers will be a small army of off-duty police officers hired by many of the retailers to help keep the peace once the doors open and the scramble for the last $45 Furby is over.
Those communities home to the Akron-area’s largest retail centers also plan to have a force of officers in patrol cars in store parking lots and along major thoroughfares.
We invite you to share your shopping plans with us by tweeting. Use the hashtag #ohshops at the end of your tweet to be part of our coverage of the annual shopping event. We will run the tweets and other updates about the big shopping day on Ohio.com.