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News > Fortune 500
'Get your butt up' and shop!
Ice-T and others help Target wake up Black Friday shoppers; some malls offer tailgate parties.
November 24, 2004: 5:48 PM EST
By Parija Bhatnagar, CNN/Money staff writer

Just some of the options for a Target wake-up call -- click for more.

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Ice-T means business. Discounter Target picked the rapper to wake up shoppers early for its two-day after-Thanksgiving sale and he's taking that job very seriously.

If you have any doubts, here's his pre-recorded wake-up call that shoppers can request for early Friday morning:

"Hey man, this is Ice-T. You wanna mess around or you wanna wake up. Cause I'll get your butt out of that bed real quick. Cause if your feet don't hit the floor within two seconds after I call, I'm comin' over there and I guarantee that you'll be awake then."

With Black Friday -- one of the busiest shopping days of the year -- just around the corner, chain stores like Minneapolis-based Target and several malls around the country are using a variety of gimmicks and other incentives to lure bargain-hungry consumers as early as daybreak.

If Ice-T's tough talk doesn't appeal to you, Target is also offering 9 other messages; options include supermodel Heidi Klum, Cheech Marin and the voice of Darth Vader.

Target's wake-up call is free of charge and customers can register for the one-time service for Friday and Saturday at

"The wake-up service is for anytime between 4 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. If you sleep through the call, you will be left a message but you won't be called back," said Lena Michaud, spokeswoman for Target. Michaud said the service is proving to be "very popular" but declined to say how many people have registered so far.

Please shop

Michigan-based mall operator Taubman Centers (Research) has planned at-the-mall pajama parties, pep rallies, tailgate parties, power-shopping workouts, free electronics and food and drinks to greet early-bird Black Friday shoppers.

"Waking at sunrise -- or even before that -- to shop on the day after Thanksgiving has become a national tradition that's almost as popular as the Thanksgiving meal itself," said Karen McDonald, spokeswoman for Taubman Centers.

According to McDonald, a recent poll conducted on Taubman shopping center Web sites indicated that one-third of the 2,000 early-bird shoppers surveyed nationwide say they'll arrive at the mall before 6.00 a.m. on Black Friday.

"We decided it was time to reward our most dedicated early birds and give them the most unique holiday shopping kick-off they've ever had," she said.

Among the activities and giveaways, expect to see Dancing Santas at the Woodfield mall in Schaumburg, Ill. help invigorate shoppers with an aerobics lesson. The Sunvalley mall in Concord, Calif. will host a tailgate party, while the MacArthur Center mall in Norfolk, Va. is holding an all-out pep rally, complete with high-school cheerleaders and disc jockey.

The Rimrock Mall in Billings, Mont., is giving the first 250 shoppers the chance to win either $30,000 or a brand new car. The mall opens at 7:00 a.m.

"We're also serving coffee, hot chocolate and welcoming guests with mall ambassadors as they come into center that morning," Jeremy Vannatta, marketing manager with Rimrock Mall wrote in an e-mail to CNN/Money.

The most provocative gimmick, titled "A little naughty can do a little nice," comes from youth apparel retailer Abercrombie & Fitch (Research). Early morning shoppers will get a chance to pose for photographs with sexy male and female greeters at all of the retailer's 364 stores nationwide for a $1 fee.

"This is an annual Yuletide tradition for us," said spokeswoman Marion Greenberg. "For every dollar that a customer spends on a photo, we will match it with a dollar to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

The male greeters are shirtless while the female greeters will be wearing the Abercrombie look, Greenberg said.  Top of page

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