CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Pre-Christmas shopping continues to creep farther into the Thanksgiving holiday. Some retailers are opening as early as 8 a.m. Thursday, but most locally owned retail stores are not giving into the early Black Friday shopping-hype.
Nationwide retailers including Gander Mountain, Books-A-Million and Big Lots are opening their doors on or before noon on Thanksgiving. Walmart, Dicks Sporting Goods, Kohl's, Best Buy and the Charleston Town Center mall will open later Thanksgiving Day.
"It has gotten especially crazy this year," said Charleston Department Store manager Dale Hayes. "We are not part of the craziness. We think Thanksgiving is a family day."
Since opening in 1921, Charleston Department Store has never opened on Thanksgiving. Hayes said the store would open an hour or two earlier, around 9 a.m., but nothing too much.
He said the store used to open earlier on Black Friday but has reduced its Black Friday hours.
"The market has gotten so congested [with larger box stores moving into the area]," Hayes said. "There are just too many stores and crazy hours. We're a little company and we do good business."
Nancy Ward does not regret keeping her store -- Cornucopia, on Bridge Road in South Hills -- closed on Thanksgiving or not opening early on Black Friday.
"It actually never occurred to us to do that," Ward said. "It's just never been the way we run our business."
Not having a corporate structure allows for more flexibility, she said. "We are not tied to somebody else."
Cornucopia employee Sarah Harless plans to spend Thanksgiving with her 9-year-old daughter, husband and extended family. She will have time to savor two Thanksgiving meals thanks to her employer.
"That's the great thing about working for a family owned business," Harless said. "You get to enjoy time with your family and they understand."