By Dennis Seid
TUPELO – For grocery stores, their Black Friday is happening now.
While retailers will get their share of sales the latter part of the week, grocers won’t do too badly the first half.
Shoppers are out in force to buy turkeys, hams and the fixings to go with them, with a rush of shoppers hitting the supermarkets.
“It’s like that every year,” said Damon Palmer of Palmer’s Supermarket.
Mist Rogers is a last-minute shopper who will do her Turkey Day shopping on Wednesday.
“It’s the same for Christmas – I wait, but it all works out,” she said. “I’m just a late shopper.”
Not so for Louise Panis, who on Monday was stocking up to feed three children and eight grandchildren for Thursday.
With at least two turkeys, a ham, dressing, egg rolls, cobbler and several other dishes to make, she wasn’t taking any chances.
According to IBISWorld, the average household will spend $52.75 on Thanksgiving dinner, with $31.23 on turkey alone.
The American Farm Bureau Federation, however, said the average Thanksgiving dinner will cost $49.04, 44 cents less than a year earlier.
Either way you slice it, grocers aren’t complaining.
“It’s hectic now and it’ll keep building up,” said Todd’s Big Star manager Joey Cole. “We’ll sell 1,000 turkeys alone this week.”
Carolyn Collier, however, won’t be buying the big bird. Instead, she’ll have roasted hen – along with ham, fried chicken, chitterlings and more for about 30 people.
“We always do hen instead of turkey,” she said. “My grandma used to do hen, and it’s a tradition.”
Several grocery stores will be open late on Wednesday, and many are open on Thanksgiving as well, though some will be closing earlier.