Americus Times-Recorder, Americus, Georgia

Local News

November 24, 2012

Shoppers buy in droves on Black Friday

AMERICUS — Black Friday shoppers enjoyed beautiful weather Friday as they moved from store to store in search of deals and steals. The day after Thanksgiving is easily the biggest shopping day of the year when businesses expect to break sales records set the previous holiday season.

Businesses in downtown Americus fared well. At lunchtime shoppers strolled downtown sidewalks, doing business with local merchants and cars zipped down city streets to crowded shopping centers.

New downtown business Sakari and Balo Boutique advertised “The perfect little Black Friday sale” on its sidewalk marquee. Owner Rebecca Webb and store manager Krystal McDonald tended to lunchtime customers. Webb and McDonald said they were surprised to see customers lined up outside their door when they opened at 10 a.m. The boutique, which opened in its West Lamar Street location in August, staggered its sale, with certain items being marked down during certain parts of the day. The big sales were early, of course. Early shoppers could get 50 percent off corduroy and BLANK NYC pants, 40 percent off Lilly Pulitzer accessories and 30 percent off Dear John and Silver denim, as well as 30 percent off resort wear. Throughout the day jackets were 50 percent off and accessories such as purses, belts, jewelry and clutches were marked down 20 percent. Sakari and Balo will have extended hours throughout the holiday season.

Over on West Forsyth Street, The Maze maintained a steady stream of customers perusing the nooks and crannies of the eclectic store. Employee, Emilee Roland said this was her fourth Black Friday working at The Maze and it had been busy all morning since opening at 10 a.m. Roland and her co-workers swiped credit cards, bagged purchases and answered the phone, as customers approached the front counter one after the other. Roland said it appeared that all the purchases were definitely Christmas gifts.

At Belk, in the Perlis Plaza shopping center, the holiday shopping season was in full force. Even at 9 a.m., there were twice the customers than there would be on a normal day and it was during a slow period, according to sales associate, Michelle Latham, who had been on the sales floor since 10:30 p.m. Thursday. She said before the midnight opening, employees prepared the store by putting up the new sales signs. Two to three hundred people waited outside for the doors to open.

“It slowed down about 3:30 (a.m.)” Latham said.

In addition to sales and coupons, Belk gave away gift cards to the first 250 customers. Cards ranged from $5 up. There was at least one $1,000 card.

Boots were the hot item this year. According to Latham, more boots were ordered and stocked this year to avoid a sell out. She said Rampage boots, which regularly cost $60-$70 were down as low as $19.99.

This was her first Black Friday employed at Belk. She said if not for work, she would be out shopping, too. Instead, this year her mother-in-law was out finding deals on a few items Latham wanted to purchase as gifts. Belk will have extended hours until Christmas as well, closing most days at 9 p.m.

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