NAPLES — A $9.99 Snuggie — the blanket that has sleeves! — is a hard deal to pass up.
But it wasn’t the one-day-only deal on Snuggies or the $2.99 fleece blankets that drew East Naples resident Glenn Feltch, 68, and his wife to the Kmart in the Park Shore Plaza on Thursday.
“We’re doing it because we’re bored,” Feltch said of shopping on Thanksgiving. “We’re not doing it because we need anything.”
Though Black Friday is usually seen as the start of holiday shopping season, several large retail chains, pharmacies and grocery stores opened their doors on Thanksgiving, hoping to squeeze in as many sales as possible during what is expected to be an anemic year.
Christmas deals may have been what stores were promoting — this Kmart in Naples had boxes of candy canes and a Christmas tree set up at the entrance — but many shoppers had their own reasons for being out and about.
“In our case, we’re out because the sun stayed in,” said Al Sullivan, a part-time resident who was shopping with his wife, Hazel, at the Walmart in North Naples. “We’d be at the beach otherwise.”
Instead of Christmas gifts, the Sullivans, who just came down from Kentucky, were loading up on the basics — bottled water, paper towels, light bulbs.
Others were shopping for last-minute food items for Thanksgiving, beer to wash down the food, and Ibuprofen to get rid of the hangover from the beer.
At Whole Foods in the Mercato, off U.S. 41 north of Naples, Karen Laughton, 31, was shopping with her father-in-law for fruit and diapers. The store was packed around 1 p.m.
Laughton said she usually finds herself doing last-minute grocery shopping almost every Thanksgiving.
“I’m not a preparer,” she said.
Taking a break at an outside table, 21-year-old Whole Foods employee Philoma Nord said he was happy to be working on Thanksgiving. The store was only open until 2 p.m., he said, and he was getting paid time-and-a-half.
After work, Nord planned to spend time with family before doing some early-morning Black Friday shopping.
He didn’t expect to find much time to rest in between.
“I don’t sleep,” Nord said. “I’m a young and energetic person.”