Whether this year’s Black Friday will see a rise, dip or hold-steady in retail shopping activity, one well-worn axiom continues to hold true: The early bird gets the worm.
That’s the theory behind a new option Gazette readers have this year: a predawn, early-bird shot at getting a copy of The Gazette’s Nov. 25 Black Friday edition hot off the press.
The Moonlight Madness promotion will make copies of Wednesday’s edition available for single-copy purchase—Black Friday shopping inserts and all—hours before the paper would normally hit local newsstands.
Starting at 3 a.m. Wednesday, customers can line up at 333 S. Wuthering Hills Drive, where The Gazette is printed, and buy a copy of the year’s biggest edition for $2.50.
Todd Benz, regional audience development director for APG Media of Southern Wisconsin, said he previously oversaw early-bird sales of Black Friday editions at a newspaper in Anderson, South Carolina.
The first year that paper offered Black Friday editions hot off the presses and under the moonlight, a few hundred readers lined up to buy a copy. The next year, 780 copies sold.
“The idea is that we’re hoping to create the same kind of excitement and immediacy that Black Friday still brings,” Benz said.
The paper’s print and distribution officials will set up a booth near the printing plant’s front entrance. People can line up in the parking lot in their cars to buy a copy between 3 and 4:30 a.m.
Benz said papers will be sold curbside with social distancing.
Then, if they’re not too sleepy, customers can peruse the Black Friday edition for deals at their favorite local stores and then hit the aisles.