Black Friday Boom

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 27, 2006

Area businesses happy with shopper turnout

By Cassandra Mickens

The Selma Times-Journal

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Friday marked the official start of the Christmas shopping season and Selma shoppers didn’t ignore the irresistible bargains.

Seasoned bargain hunters rose early Friday to await the 5 a.m. openings of JCPenney, Goody’s, Belk and Hibbett Sports &045; all located in Selma Mall. Remaining stores opened at 8 a.m., said Mall Manager Carver Boynton.

The mall’s common area opened earlier than expected to accommodate the early bird crowd &045; a rarity according to Boynton.

Jacinta Bright, owner of Bright Design Monograms and Gifts in Selma Mall, also noticed the holiday shopper influx, simply saying, &8220;It’s going good.&8221;

Hibbett Sports General Manager Jason Pierre begged to differ.

Pierre added post-Thanksgiving shopping may have lost its thunder to another popular retail day.

Pierre hopes sales will pick up as Christmas nears.

Area business slashed prices in preparation for what’s known as Black Friday &045; the day retailers usually go from being unprofitable or &8220;in the red&8221; to being profitable or &8220;in the black.&8221; According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), 145 million shoppers flooded stores and the Internet in search of popular electronics, clothing and books last year. An NRF survey reported that the average shopper spent $302.81 during the 2005 Thanksgiving weekend, bringing total weekend spending to $27.8 billion. The NRF projects nationwide holiday sales will rise five percent this year.

Downtown businesses had their share of holiday consumers as well. Butler Truax Jewelers owner Jim Truax made minor adjustments to ensure the day ran more smoothly.

Just a few storefronts up, Carter Drug Co. gift shop cashier Ann Chandler juggled the responsibilities of the day.