Rite Aid (NYSE: RAD) is giving shoppers a head start on Black Friday (Nov. 23) shopping with 4,600 locations open at least 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.* And for the 71 million shoppers that the National Retail Federation predicts will visit retailers nationwide on Black Friday weekend, Rite Aid is offering a helping hand by emailing Black Friday Survival Guides with shopping tips and a special savings sneak preview to its most loyal customers. Guides contain seven tips to help shoppers prepare for the "epic deals" they'll be seeking that day at all their shopping stops, such as how to stay hydrated and keep energized by taking advantage of Rite Aid's deals for the week on water, Gatorade, Red Bull and healthy snacks. The guide is being sent along with an exclusive preview of Rite Aid's regular Black Friday promotion 3 Big Days to Save, which offers members of Rite Aid's free wellness+ loyalty program great deals on holiday essentials such as gift wrap, batteries and greeting cards. According to the National Retail Federation, nearly 21 percent of shoppers will shop drugstores this holiday season – the highest percentage since 2004. "Rite Aid has long been a Black Friday destination because our convenient locations and extended holiday hours give weary shoppers a chance to refuel and refresh on their marathon shopping quests and a break from crowded mall and big-box store parking lots," said Tony Montini, executive vice president of merchandising for Rite Aid. "This year we've also taken care to select some of the hottest items spanning the major gift categories to help weekend shoppers cross a few names off their lists." This year’s unexpected holiday finds with special prices during the 3 Big Days to Save event include nostalgic favorites such as a 52-piece wooden train table set and Hot Wheels die-cast cars. Value shoppers can cross the kids off their lists with perennial toy favorites priced at $2.99 from Rite Aid's private brand Kids Stuff including dolls, tea sets, plush stuffed animals and electronic cars and trucks. The women on shoppers' lists will love pampering gifts such as massaging slippers and foot bubble baths or beauty gift sets such as a Wet n Wild 10-piece nail kit. And for the men, Rite Aid has both practical gifts – such as the Conair beard trimmer or ear/nose/brow grooming kits – and the simply fun – including video-game consoles that play classic Atari and Sega Genesis games. Last-minute host and hostess gifts are a snap with Hershey’s Pot of Gold boxed chocolates, holiday-themed tins of gourmet cookies and popcorn, seasonal M&M's, scented candles, or buy one, get one free deals on As Seen on TV gifts including Snuggies, Pillow Pets, Perfect Meatloaf, and the Ahh Bra. Shoppers can even get a head start on stocking stuffers with 8-gigabyte flashdrives or SD memory cards for phones and portable electronics or hot deals on some of the hundreds of prepaid gift cards Rite Aid offers. For instance, shoppers at this year's 3 Big Days to Save event can pick up a +UP Reward good for $10 to $15 off of a future Rite Aid purchase** when they buy select gift card denominations for the iTunes Store or for a Home Improvement card good at a variety of nationwide hardware retailers. Also included in the 3 Big Days to Save event are holiday decorations including stuffed indoor snowmen, Santas and Christmas trees or a porch decorating kit with two door trees, two garlands and a 20-inch wreath. To help revelers get their seasonal greetings out on time, Rite Aid has a buy one get one offer on select American Greetings cards and a deal on photo greeting cards that can be easily customized for as little as 25 cents** each at www.riteaid.com/photo with uploaded or online photos from Facebook and Picasa. Cyber Monday keeps the savings going The seasonal savings won't end with the 3 Big Days to Save event. On Cyber Monday (Nov. 26), the Rite Aid Online Store is offering 40 percent off more than a thousand items and free everyday shipping when $50 or more is purchased. Selection includes a wide range of gift items including select Revlon and Covergirl cosmetics, holiday decorations and electronics. To find out how to get this special offer or for a full list of all of the hot deals during Rite Aid's 3 Big Days to Save event, see the special Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 22) advertising circular in newspapers nationwide or online at www.riteaid.com. Rite Aid supporting a Season of Giving, Season of Rebuilding Starting on Black Friday, Rite Aid is giving its customers nationwide a chance to donate an amount of their choice to support the rebuilding of communities affected by Hurricane Sandy. All funds will be donated in equal amounts to the Empire State Relief Fund, announced by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and to the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund, established by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Previously, The Rite Aid Foundation awarded a $50,000 grant each to the Empire State Relief Fund and the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund, a $100,000 donation to the American Red Cross for Sandy relief efforts on Oct. 31, and numerous product donations to residents in devastated areas including six truck deliveries of bottled water and supplies valued at nearly $40,000 total.