5 tips to tackle the Black Friday crowds - WDRB 41 Louisville News

5 tips to tackle the Black Friday crowds

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Every year without fail, Black Friday shopping is mayhem.

“It's organized chaos,” Wal-Mart store manager Jeffrey Smallwood said. 

At big box stores, it might be more like Black Thursday.

“Starting at about 2 p.m., it will start getting a little busier in here. You'll start seeing more people at 4 p.m.,” Smallwood said.

Stores like Wal-Mart are open all day on Thanksgiving and the sales start at 6 p.m.

“I expect people to start coming in early in the day, but you can't actually line up for any items until 4 p.m.,” Smallwood said.

WDRB put together some ideas to help you navigate the aisles:

Holiday Tip No. 1: make a game plan using store maps and Black Friday circulars

“We made a store map planning where every item is going to be in the store for the event," Smallwood said. "We printed a bunch of copies, and they will be at the front for customers as they walk in."

Know exactly what you're shopping for and where everything is located and prioritize.

Many big box stores have store maps already up on their websites, so you can plan ahead.

Holiday Tip No. 2: Earlier is better

Store managers say there's a limited amount of sale items in stock.

If you get inside the store early before the sales start, Wal-Mart says you can stand in line next to your favorite item starting at 4:00 PM on Thursday to give you the best shot of securing it once it goes on sale at 6 p.m.

Holiday Tip No. 3: Don't be afraid to ask for help

Most stores have extra employees on the floor.

“We have a new program Wal-Mart pulled out this year called the Holiday Helper,” Smallwood said.

Holiday helpers wear yellow vests and can point you to the shortest lines, open new registers and even run to get forgotten items while you wait in line.

Holiday Tip No. 4: For the popular items, know your options

“We have a 55-inch Phillips 4K TV for $298 this year. That's something I expect to go pretty quickly,” Smallwood said.

For items you know will go quickly (think Hatchimals), Wal-Mart is passing out wristbands.

The wristband is a promise that the items with limited stock will be yours once it goes on sale. You can collect as many wristbands as you want.

Holiday Tip No. 5: Be patient if you think you might have to wait for cyber Monday

If you miss out on something you need, don't forget, you have another chance at a sale in just a few days.

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