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Asia Turner, from right, of Baltimore, and friend "Scooby" are the first to get a 5 a.m. tablet computer door buster deal at the Toys R Us store in Glen Burnie on Black Friday.
Asia Turner, from right, of Baltimore, and friend "Scooby" are the first to get a 5 a.m. tablet computer door buster deal at the Toys R Us store in Glen Burnie on Black Friday. (Kenneth K. Lam / Baltimore Sun)

Toys "R" Us will open its stores at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving, the same Black Friday kickoff time as last year for the toy retailer.

The stores will stay open all night and throughout Black Friday, closing Friday evening at 11 p.m.

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Toys "R" Us also announced Friday it will staff its stores with toy aficionados the chain is calling G.P.S, for Guru for Play Stuff, who will be wearing red shirts and armed with advice on deals and toys.

The toy chain is also introducing digital store-specific maps. Shoppers will be able to use smart phones to scan a code on a store entrance layout sign, which will let them search for products by name and find their location.

And to help ease backups at the register, the stores will offer two-item-or-less express lanes and new technology allowing store employees to scan items in full carts while customers wait in line.

The Thanksgiving announcement from Toys "R" Us came a day after BJ's Wholesale Club said it will stay closed on Thanksgiving, as it has in the past "to give our team a well-deserved holiday," Laura Sen, BJ's president and CEO said in an announcement.

lorraine.mirabella@baltsun.com

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