Holiday shopping season opens with a bang

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As many Americans flock to stores to get some of the best deals of the season, local merchants are gearing up for a weekend of sales.

Black Friday has become known as the biggest holiday shopping day of the year and as such, many retailers sport steep discounts.

Stephanie Gray, owner of Madison Marketplace said Black Friday shoppers began early.

“We had people waiting for us when we got here,” Gray said. “They were waiting in the parking lot to get in.”

Madison Marketplace held sales that varied throughout the day: all clothing was 30 percent off early in the morning and 25 percent off through the afternoon until close. They also had sales on various items throughout the store.

“We’ve been steady throughout the day,” she said. “We’re very pleased with the way it has been. I think this year we’re ahead of where we were last year at this point in the day.”

Madison Marketplace will host sales through Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday.

Other retailers said the crowds held off, but business has still been strong.

Bill Dallas, owner of The Bootery Ltd., said the traffic was “excellent” throughout the day.

“A lot of times, judging from past years, we get busy on Black Friday afternoon,” Dallas said. “All the people who get up at the crack of dawn to go to the big stores where it’s crowded and they don’t get service and they leave upset will come back here where they know they will get waited on and get service. So, I know I’ll be busy this afternoon.”

For Black Friday, The Bootery Ltd. sold shoes at a buy one pair, get another for half price on most items in the store. That sale will carry on for Small Business Saturday.

Dallas said Small Business Saturday has grown each year that he has participated.

“Because it has been done on the same day, repeatedly, it is something that is growing,” he said. “And participation in it is growing – more and more merchants have picked up on it.”

Larry Cole, owner of Furniture Mart, said he receives discounts from manufacturers, like La-Z-boy, and those discounts are passed on to the customer even before Black Friday.

“We started actually last weekend,” he said.

Cole said the sales will continue for Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday.

“I think a lot of times on Small Business Saturday, people have already done all of their out of town shopping and more local people will come through then,” he said. “That’s the way the trend has been for me.”

Pam Wagstaff, manager of Homestead Florist, said her company had a great Black Friday.

“It’s very busy and it has been going well,” she said.

Wagstaff’s experience with Black Friday traffic was similar to the other retailers.

“It was slow to begin, but it’s been wide open ever since,” she said. “I think people go out of town in the morning and come back later to hit Roxboro.”

Homestead Florist will have the same sales for Black Friday and Small Business Saturday – 35 percent off all times except fresh and funeral flowers.

Homestead Florist will also be hosting Santa and an elf to visit with shoppers for Small Business Saturday.

Overall, Wagstaff said the annual shopping holiday turned out well.

“It’s been good so far – really good,” she said. “We’re really pleased.”

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