Richard Simmons will rev up shoppers obscenely early on Black Friday

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So you are waiting patiently in line at Macy's in Herald Square in the wee hours of the morning on November 28, hoping to score some Black Friday deals at the nation's largest store. It's never really quiet on 34th Street, but at that hour, it's supposed to be a little less energetic than at rush hour. Then along comes Richard Simmons to shake up the crowd, in one of his little exercise shorts outfits. Come on, you gotta go with it, right? Won't that make you want to run into the store and buy up cashmere sweaters?

Richard Simmons and Macys

    A group costumed as Richard Simmons impersonators perform a routine in the 34th annual Village Halloween Parade in New York, Friday, Oct. 31, 2008. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)

    AP

    A group costumed as Richard Simmons impersonators perform a routine in the 34th annual Village Halloween Parade in New York, Friday, Oct. 31, 2008. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)

    AP

    Fitness advocate Richard Simmons, wearing his signature shorts and tanktop, leads Capitol Hill staff and visitors through an exercise routine July 24, 2004 in Washington, DC. Simmons was slated to testify before the House Education and Labor Committee about expanding physical education in public schools to combat childhood obesity. Simmons turned 60 earlier this month.AFP PHOTO Tim SLOAN (Photo credit should read TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images)

    AFP/Getty Images

    Fitness advocate Richard Simmons, wearing his signature shorts and tanktop, leads Capitol Hill staff and visitors through an exercise routine July 24, 2004 in Washington, DC. Simmons was slated to testify before the House Education and Labor Committee about expanding physical education in public schools to combat childhood obesity. Simmons turned 60 earlier this month.AFP PHOTO Tim SLOAN (Photo credit should read TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images)

    AFP/Getty Images

    Fitness advocate Richard Simmons, wearing his signature shorts and tanktop, leads Capitol Hill staff and visitors through an exercise routine July 24, 2004 in Washington, DC. Simmons was slated to testify before the House Education and Labor Committee about expanding physical education in public schools to combat childhood obesity. Simmons turned 60 earlier this month. AFP PHOTO Tim SLOAN (Photo credit should read TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images)

    AFP/Getty Images

    WASHINGTON - JULY 24: Fitness advocate Richard Simmons (L) speaks during a rally on Capitol Hill July 24, 2008 in Washington, DC. Simmons was on the Hill for a hearing and a rally to promote the benefits of physical and health education for children. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Richard Simmons

    Getty Images

    WASHINGTON - JULY 24: Fitness advocate Richard Simmons (L) speaks during a rally on Capitol Hill July 24, 2008 in Washington, DC. Simmons was on the Hill for a hearing and a rally to promote the benefits of physical and health education for children. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Richard Simmons

    Getty Images

    WASHINGTON - JULY 24: Fitness advocate Richard Simmons (C) dances with fans during a rally on Capitol Hill July 24, 2008 in Washington, DC. Simmons was on the Hill for a hearing and a rally to promote the benefits of physical and health education for children. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Richard Simmons

    Getty Images

    WASHINGTON - JULY 24: Fitness advocate Richard Simmons (C) greets fans after a rally on Capitol Hill July 24, 2008 in Washington, DC. Simmons was on the Hill for a hearing and a rally to promote the benefits of physical and health education for children. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Richard Simmons

    Getty Images

    WASHINGTON - JULY 24: Fitness advocate Richard Simmons (C) dances with fans during a rally on Capitol Hill July 24, 2008 in Washington, DC. Simmons was on the Hill for a hearing and a rally to promote the benefits of physical and health education for children. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Richard Simmons

    Getty Images

Simmons is the first celebrity to sign up for an in-person Black Friday promotion as retailers scramble to excite shoppers into coming out early and buying lots on what is traditionally the biggest shopping day of the year. There are probably very few who want to be up at 4am to rev up the crowds, so he's a great choice. You want shoppers to get their hearts pumping, but most of all if you are a clothing retailer this season, you want them to laugh. Get them in a good mood and maybe they will forget that they are struggling financially.

And for those worried that Simmons is about to suddenly turn tail and start talking up excess -- as in buy, buy, buy -- there's nothing to be concerned about. Simmons will be at the store talking about Ocean Spray cranberry drinks and 100-calorie Craisin packs. He'll be handing out samples to shoppers in a promotion that will stretch across Macy's 200 stores nationwide.

"The holidays can be a stressful time, so we're doing our part to help shoppers get through this especially intense day of the holiday season," said Ken Romanzi, chief operating officer of Ocean Spray. "Both Cranergy and Craisins make a healthy snack to keep you going through a day of shopping or anytime."
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