The holiday shopping frenzy is upon us as customers brace for the coming wall-to-wall onslaught of Black Friday and Small Business Saturday.
Some businesses open on Thanksgiving Day. However, to most pragmatic business owners and managers, this is all about doing what they usually do, just turning up the volume just a little bit.
At Target, Robert Johnson, executive team leader of human resources, says their preparation is doing what Target usually does.
"We make sure we have the needed personnel in place and the products we think they will be buying supplied at the appropriate levels," Johnson said. "It is all about having a good staff and ensuring we have enough product to meet demand."
When a high-demand item does run out, an order is placed quickly with the distribution hub for resupply, thanks to electronically tracked inventory.
"But we provide what we have and keep up with the volume," Johnson said.
Johnson describes Black Friday to Target as a typical shopping day, just busier than usual.
"We have the decorations up, and have the store looking more festive," he said, though he promises customers won't be listening to well-worn holiday music over the PA system.
"We are like every retailer, looking to take care of our guests. We also have our Black Friday specials on display at Target.com."
Gray's Jewelers, a longtime family business in Texarkana, also emphasized everyday quality service for their customers over the holiday period.
Mike Murrah, owner and partner with Danny Gray, says it is all about anticipating customer needs.
"We've noticed in our business that Black Friday causes an uptick in items priced below $500. Not that we won't take bigger sales, of course, but the trend goes up on items below that level," he said.
The holiday shopping season finds gift buyers picking up jewelry in greater amounts. A 30 percent increase is typical for Gray's Jewelers.
"I'm also getting three wedding rings ready to order, so we do notice an uptick on such occasions during this period," Murrah said.
Murrah emphasizes that Gray's is a homegrown business.
"We take care of our people and their needs," he said. "Make a nice profit, but make sure we give all of our customers a good buy."
Gayle Hines of Gayle's and Abby Gayle's (named for her granddaughter) anticipates the holiday season with special sales for Black Friday.
"We will be offering 25 percent off our clothes, as well as 20 percent off on Kendra Scott and Brighton jewelry on that day," she said.
"But just as much, we anticipate completing the business day and getting out to do our own shopping. The grandkids especially like electronics goods."
Hines regards Christmas as a magical time of the year.
"You can feel it in the air, a special feeling that doesn't exist elsewhere in the year. We have the miracle of Christ. You have people giving. It is a joy to see them happy I love Christmas. I really do."
Rogers Marine, a longtime staple for adventurers and outdoors people, also tracks trends that come around this time of year.
Denise Dixon, one of their salespeople, says that go-carts, small bikes and four wheelers sell especially well going into this time period.
"We aren't offering any special sales at this time for Black Friday," she said. "Our customers tend to show up knowing what they want."
After Black Friday, go-carts and small four-wheelers continue to move. The hunters are especially in for four-wheelers.
"And because we are moving all these vehicles, we sell lots of helmets, too," she said.
For Rogers Marine, when the weather warms up, the sales will continue, just shift a bit.
"Come the spring, we sell more boats and boat motors and motorcycles as folks anticipate summer," she said.
But as the weather grows cooler and the stars brighter, she, like most, is thinking of the holidays.
"Merry Christmas," she said.