C-stores Aim to Capitalize on Black Friday Shoppers

JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- While the third week in November has traditionally been associated with Thanksgiving, every year more consumers appear to be more focused on Black Friday deals then on turkey and trimmings.

The latest consumer holiday tracking survey by The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and Goldman Sachs (GS) found that Black Friday itself is still the most trafficked day of the weekend, with one-third (33 percent) of consumers, or 80.5 million people, planning to shop that day. However, Black Friday is no longer regulated to Friday; 17 percent of consumers, or 41 million people, plan to take advantage of those stores which plan to open their doors on Thanksgiving. The survey also found that over half (51 percent) of consumers plan to go out and shop at least one of the days of Thanksgiving weekend (Thursday through Sunday).

And convenience stores are there to help those consumers get through the busiest shopping day of the year.

Dallas-based 7-Eleven Inc. is offering a one-two energy punch. Customers who buy any size Red Bull Energy Drink can receive a free cup of coffee or hot beverage of their choice. The "Grab a Can, Get a Cup" promo runs Friday from 12 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. at participating 7-Eleven stores.

 Salt Lake City-based Maverik Inc. is offering deals on its beverages, energy drinks and energy shots. All day Thursday and Friday, customers can get one free 5-Hour Energy shot when they buy one, a free large fountain drink with the purchase of a $25 gift card, any size Bodacious Bean hot drink for 69 cents, or a free small Bodacious Bean hot drink with the purchase of a $25 gift card, according to the company's Facebook page.

In addition, beginning at 10 p.m. Thursday, the first 24 customers at participating Maverik stores will receive a free Monster Zero Ultra, and beginning at 3 p.m. Friday, the first 10 customers will receive a free 5-Hour Energy shots.

Quick Chek is also helping customers gear up for Black Friday, or as the Whitehouse Station, N.J.-based convenience store retailer calls it "Joe to the World," when it will be giving away free medium coffee all day.

In addition, Casey's General Store is offering up specials for Black Friday. Customers at the Akneny, Iowa-based retailer's c-stores will be able to get a free 12-ounce coffee, 32-ounce fountain soda or a 16.9-ounce Casey's water with the purchase of any Casey's gift card, any one slice of pizza or any one 5-Hour Energy shot. The retailer is also offering two Monster Energy drinks for $3.

Coffee deals prove popular, with La Crosse, Wis.-based Kwik Trip offering a free Karuba Coffee coupon on its Facebook page. The offer will be posted on Thanksgiving day.

And Dunkin' Donuts looks to put the "k" in Black Friday with the introduction of its new Hot Cocoa K-Cup packs. The Canton, Mass.-based company is also running a Black Friday Twitter Sweepstakes that gives customers a chance to win a Keurig brewer and two boxes of the newest Dunkin' Donuts K-Cup packs: Peppermint Mocha and Hot Cocoa. The sweepstakes begins at 6 a.m., Eastern time and one winner will be selected at random at 12 p.m., Eastern time.

More than 2,000 Dunkin' Donuts locations throughout the country are open 24 hours a day and many others will be open as early as 4 a.m., some as early as 12 a.m.

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