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Black Friday makes retailers (and shoppers) see green

By: 24 November 2010 One Comment

Robert Smith (left) and John Cunningham started camping out at the Best Buy in Rogers around 3 p.m. Sunday. This is their third year to camp out in preparation for upcoming Black Friday Sales

As much as turkey and football are a tradition for Thanksgiving, so is getting up before the crack of dawn to hit the stores on Black Friday.

Given its name because it’s the day when many stores make up their budget for the year, thus putting them “in the black,” Black Friday is a long-standing tradition where stores big and small offer what otherwise would be considered ridiculously low pricing on some of their most popular items. Stores open at times that would otherwise be considered the middle of the night, and some die-hard shoppers camp out on the stores sidewalks just so they can be the first in line to get some much sought-after but limited items.

Robert Smith and John Cunningham have camped out for the last three years and this year, they started on Sunday afternoon. Equipped with lawn chairs, a tent, a cooler and sleeping bags, the two are hoping to get good deals on laptop computers and TVs, Smith said. They are camped out at the Best Buy in Rogers.

“We wanted to beat the crowd for sure and we had already taken time off work so we thought, why not?,” Smith said of the early start to their vigil.

Smith said he thinks more people will come out this year to shop because he sees the economy as “warming up.

“More people are starting to be willing to spend money again,” he said.

Dusty Rose is a manager at the Rogers Best Buy location and this will be his fifth Black Friday at that location.

“Everyone is shopping for better deals,” he said. “More people are willing to wait in line because people want to save the money.”

Many stores are not waiting until Friday to start the specials. According to a press release from the Bentonville-based Walmart Stores, the retailer’s three days of savings will commence with Thanksgiving Day online-only specials followed by unbeatable prices Black Friday on various electronics, home and apparel items. Also on Friday starting at midnight, Walmart will offer treats and entertainment to customers. Electronics savings in store will continue on Saturday.

“We’re making this year’s Friday After Thanksgiving a special, festive event with big savings starting at midnight, and lots of food and fun for our customers while they shop and wait for the electronics deals starting at 5 a.m.,” said Stephen Quinn, executive vice president and Chief Marketing Officer, Walmart. U.S. “Walmart’s ability to easily price match competitors’ ads right at the checkout registers mean our customers will save time and money on Nov. 26.”

Fellow First Arkansas News reporter Lana Flowers recently visited the Pinnacle Hills Promenade in Rogers, where even the smaller stores were already offering great deals in an effort to attract customers.

Here’s what she had to say:

“Shoppers checked out some early Black Friday specials, like at Perfumania’s buy two, get one free special on many designer fragrances and gift sets,” Flowers said. “The store sells designer perfumes and colognes including Mark Ecko for men, the new Kim Kardashian fragrance as seen on “The Apprentice” television show and popular brands like Ed Hardy, Givenchy, Polo, Vera Wang and Kenneth Cole.

“Perfumania did not wait until the (Black Friday) to start its specials, but began them early to help consumers stretch their shopping dollars,” Flowers continued. “Anyone who spends $55 or more at Perfumania also gets a gift with purchase and has large bottles of spa lotion on sale for two for $14.”

Other small stores are not offering huge specials, but they do expect to see increased traffic after people go to the larger stores. Georgia Granda opened Casa de Granda, a “lavish home interiors and design store” in the Promenade last August.

“I expect people will head towards the big stores but I do expect some traffic,” she said.

There’s tons of websites out there that show Black Friday ads but here’s a few:

About: Jamie Smith:
Experienced reporter who is now an entrepreneur. Jamie's Notebook offers writing services including press releases, corporate blogging and feature writing.

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