COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Thousands of shoppers across the country and in Columbus are preparing to hit the stores for Black Friday sales.
Lauri Hartley is one of them.
"[I'm looking for presents for] my daughter, my son-in-law, and my son. Everybody else is pretty much done. I've done a lot of online shopping this year," said Hartley.
She says in the past she joined the crowds standing in lines for hours until stores opened Thanksgiving night, but this year, her plan is a little different.
"I'm going to wait until that first wave of craziness kind of goes by and they've all left and then I will go later in the afternoon when it is a little more relaxed," said Hartley.
Black Friday is one of the busiest shopping days of the year and not just for shoppers. It is a day retail stores have been preparing for months in advance.
"Our actual prep and everything starts as early as July as far as setting our schedules as far as what we are going to do, where we are going to place merchandise, and what merchandise we are going to get," said Bill Abercrombie, store manager for Walmart Supercenter off Whilttlesey Boulevard in Columbus.
Abercrombie says this week has been filled with preparations for shoppers looking for deals.
"We'll have the papers out. As you look throughout the store, we'll have balloons up for certain items that were on special, and we're trying to group everything together in the store with toys in the toy area, home items in the home items area, and clothing in clothing area so it will make everything easier for everyone," said Abercrombie.
Hartley has some advice for those braving the Black Friday madness for the first time.
"I think you've got to keep a decent attitude because the crowds will test you," said Hartley.