HOLLISTER, Mo. – Last year, many stores adopted changes to how they usually sell products on Black Friday due to the pandemic. Those changes along with online shopping deals have helped stores expand how long they can offer Black Friday deals after Thanksgiving.

Brian Krysl is the store manager for Menard’s in Hollister. He said he can really notice the difference in shoppers’ attitudes, adding that it is an easier experience.

“The lines are short. It’s easy to get-in and get-out, and it’s kind of at your own pace,” said Krysl. “So you can tell the guests are really enjoying that more this year.”

Shoppers will have ten days to enjoy the Black Friday deals promoted by Menard’s, and many other stores are using similar strategies this year. Even with more time, some shoppers can’t wait to buy gifts for the holidays. Rhonda Blakenship and Jemma Russell purchased a lot of gifts earlier today, but none more meaningful than new blankets for her students.

“Every Christmas I buy blankets for my kids at school,” said Blakenship. “I have almost 20 students at school and I teach in a title-1 school, which is kind of poverty and a lot of my students don’t have a blanket at night. I have students who are homeless, and I have students that don’t even have a bed of their own. They sleep on the floor and a few years ago, I started getting the blankets because everybody needs a blanket, especially in the cold. And a lot of times they’ll have their electric shut-off. So, they need something.”

Blakenship and her family personalize each blanket for each student, adding designs and their names with a heat press. Krysl said this is exactly what Black Friday is all about.

“People are just excited, right? It’s Christmas, so it’s time to get your gifts and get ready for the season,” Krysl said. “It’ll be a fun month.”