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Photo credit: Ron Dauphin via Unsplash

For some, it’s the thrill of snagging a steal of a deal on this year’s hottest electronic item. For others, it’s the savings on toys and children’s items that will go under the Christmas tree. Still others go with friends and family as a time-honored tradition, perfect for people watching (and maybe finding a deal, too). No matter the reason, Black Friday is big business for the U.S. retail industry, with big crowds descending on stores each year for the best deals they can grab on electronics, clothes, appliances and more. This year’s event is Nov. 23, 2018. As the popular shopping day has bled into Thanksgiving Day, some stores will open on Thanksgiving evening and remain open through Friday, while others will close and re-open at 5 or 6 a.m. Friday. Some companies have responded to consumer backlash against creeping into Thanksgiving, and will not open until Friday morning for their famous doorbuster sales.

With all the options, where should you start? Here are some of the best Christmas shopping spots in Lincoln and St. Charles counties:

Big box options

  • Walmart remains one of the biggest Black Friday destinations, driven by its huge deals on electronics. Already open 24 hours, its Black Friday sales hours started at 5 p.m. Thanksgiving Day in 2017 and continued into Friday. That tradition seems likely to continue this year, though its official Black Friday ads haven’t yet come out. There are Walmarts in Troy, in Lincoln County; and in Wentzville, Lake St. Louis, O Fallon, St. Peters and Saint Charles in St. Charles County.
  • Mid Rivers Mall in St. Peters in St. Charles County has more than 140 specialty stores, including Black Friday favorites like Best Buy, JC Penney and Macy’s. Last year, Mid Rivers, which is owned by CBL properties, announced it would continue to close on Thanksgiving Day, and would open at 6 a.m. Black Friday. It hasn’t announced yet this year if it will continue that tradition. St. Charles County also has the Overstock Outlet, Gap Outlet and Mall Parkway Partnership in Wentzville.
  • In Lincoln County, mall options include The Mercantile Outlet in Troy and Lincoln Country Mall in Troy.
  • Don’t forget to check for local craft fairs and other events that could save you from fighting the Black Friday crowds, while also supporting local vendors and artisans. Things like Christmas in November hosted by the Lincoln County Council on Aging offer a more laid-back and person feel for holiday shoppers.
  • Other perennial Black Friday favorites include Target (there’s one in Wentzville), Sears (Saint Peters), Best Buy (Saint Peters), Kohl’s (Wentzville), JCPenney (Saint Peters), Lowe’s (Wentzville), Home Depot (Wentzville), Menards (Saint Peters).

Thrifty options

For families that are in a financial bind, Troy hosts the “Affordable Christmas Shop,” which allows parents to buy toys for their children at a fraction of the cost they would spend in stores. In St. Charles, there’s an arts and crafts fair in December. Check with your local newspaper or chamber of commerce to see what other locally sponsored events are coming up that could provide a family friendly way to stock up on one-of-a-kind holiday gifts.

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