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Gilroy Outlet Stores Brace For The Madness

The countdown is on for Black Friday but several stores are getting an early start by opening on Thanksgiving.

Why wait for Black Friday for the Madness to start? Some Gilroy Premium Outlet stores are hoping to shoppers will line up early when they kick off the holiday shopping season on Thanksgiving night.

Black Friday traditionally is the biggest retail event of the year for the Premium Outlet Simon Property Group, which also includes outlet shopping centers in Napa, Petaluma and Vacaville.

"Every year we ask 'How do we top such a successful year?' and every year we do," said Michele Rothstein, spokesperson for Premium Outlets Simon Property Group.

Rothstein called Black Friday the "Super Bowl" for the Premium Outlets.

"It's become a tradition for a lot of shoppers, for a lot of families. There's such a great momentum every year," she said. "But we can never rest on our laurels. Stores every year have to keep their game up. This is such a highly promotional period and people are looking for deals. We're working hard to earn people's patronage on Black Friday."

Several of the 150 stores at the Gilroy Premium Outlets will open as early as 9 p.m. Thursday, while others will wait until 10 p.m. to beat the Black Friday shopping rush.

"We will have stores open as early as 9 p.m. on Thursday, but that's optional. The stores do this because the shoppers continue to show up early. You have to go where the shopper is leading you," Rothstein said.

Target, Sears and other large stores have drawn fire from people who feel Thanksgiving is just too early to start the holiday shopping season. A press release from Change.org reported more than 179,000 have signed an online petition protesting the "Black Friday Creep."

The Gilroy Premium Outlets will have extended shopping hours and deals through the weekend following Thanksgiving:

Fri, Nov 23: Midnight-10 p.m.
Sat, Nov 24: 8 a.m.-10 p.m.
Sun, Nov 25: 9 a.m.-8 p.m.

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