Richard Simmons will rev up shoppers obscenely early on Black Friday


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

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."