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    AAFES to Open Early Black Friday, Not on Thanksgiving

    Army & Air Force Exchange Service locations will wait until after the holiday to open to allow shoppers more time with families.

    DALLAS -- Although many retailers have pushed their opening times for post-Thanksgiving sales earlier than ever this year, consumers on Army Posts and Air Force Bases who plan to shop at Army & Air Force Exchange Service main stores will have to wait until 0400 hours, or 4 a.m., on Black Friday this year.

    "We understand the industry push is to open earlier and earlier, with some retailers opening before the Thanksgiving Day even ends. But as a part of the military community, we understand that time with family, for both customers and associates, is a priority," said Col. Tom Ockenfels, chief of staff. "While Exchanges in the United States are opening early Friday, 'Black Friday' hours worldwide will allow shoppers to give thanks with loved ones and still partake in the savings."

    To keep things orderly, Exchange employees will hand out numbered tickets to shoppers who line up early for door-buster deals.

    "Customers waiting in line will be asked which item they are there to purchase and will receive a ticket for that item," explained Ockenfels. "In years past, the 'take-a-ticket' program has been extremely helpful in ensuring people get what they came for." Additional details on AAFES' Black Friday weekend sales and specials are available at www.shopmyexchange.com.

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