Retailers report 'Black Friday' success
By Sabrina Bates, Chief Staff Writer
With falling numbers reported last year across the nation for Black Friday sales, shoppers apparently did not repeat history as more than 147 million people across the nation reportedly hit the stores in search of a bargain.
“Sales were very good for us on Black Friday. We saw a 40 percent increase over last year and we were busy on Saturday and Sunday as well,” Rural King Store Manager Ben Arbeiter commented on Monday.
“Our weekend sales overall were pretty good,” he added. Rural King’s store manager reported 1,200 shoppers on Black Friday and he attributes those high numbers to the new location in the University Plaza Shopping Center, as well as the store’s “good workforce.”
“We had strong cashiers up front and all of our registers were open that day. We wanted to keep it flowing for our customers,” Arbeiter said.
He also reported consumers have taken advantage of the layaway program offered at Rural King this year.
While clothing was deemed the most popular purchases in the nation as a whole, a local store manager said that was not the case in his store on Black Friday with door-buster toys selling out within an hour of the store’s opening.
Fred’s in Dresden had around 35-40 waiting for the doors to open at 5 a.m. the day after Thanksgiving and many of those customers took advantage of $20 bicycles and hand-held video games.
“Sales were good. It was a pretty successful day. We had good items, nice presentations, a clean store and good service,” Phil Boaz, Dresden Fred’s store manager, commented on Monday.
The store opened June 1 of this year in Dresden and offers toys, clothes and household items as well as a pharmacy.
According to the National Retail Federation’s 2007 Black Friday Weekend Survey, the number of shoppers hitting the stores over the weekend is 4.8 percent higher than last year.
Shoppers reportedly spent less on average this year, but focused on more bargain door buster items than larger items such as hi-definition televisions.
Local numbers from Black Friday are only a small sign as to what the holiday shopping season will bring for many retailers, but with reports of early shopping already a success, it will help to make their season bright.