Strong sales seen Friday

Published 11:59 pm Friday, November 28, 2008

Thousands of Americans began lining up outside department stores across the country hungry to take advantage of Black Friday deals yesterday and several local vendors reported great results for the first half of the biggest shopping day of the season.

Dennis Cockrell, manager of J.C. Penney in Andalusia, said his store once again opened at 4 a.m. for Black Friday.

“We had 50 or 60 people waiting to come in at 4 a.m.,” he said. “The first half of the day is always when you do most of your business. Typically things remain busy until the end of the door buster sales at 1 p.m. and then things begin to taper off. We have a very good chance of doing as well as we did last year.”

Gloria Holmes and her nine-year-old daughter, Kourtney, traveled all the way from Evergreen to take advantage of savings at J.C. Penney.

“We just like J.C. Penney,” she said. “They have good deals on many of the clothing items we look for. We hope to fill several orders on wish lists for family and friends while we are here.”

Maggie Givens, manager of Goody’s in Andalusia, said business was steady throughout the morning.

“We have had long lines all day long,” she said. “We had one little 15-minute slow down period between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m., but it picked right back up afterwards. We have all five registers going with a minimum of eight people in each line. The best thing is that I have not seen an empty buggy.

“We have sold out of some of our door buster items, which are the sales ending at 1 p.m.,” she added. “We had a digital coin bank that sold out very quickly. One lady bought like 14 of them. I kept putting out box after box.”

Tori Shirey, manager of Factory Connection in Andalusia, reported healthy business following their big sales push Friday morning.

“We had a very good turnout from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. sale where we offered an additional 20 percent off our merchandise,” she said. “We just hope everyone had a good time and we thank all of our customers for supporting us.

Shirey said she feels as though the shopping season is just beginning and she expects many more customers this weekend.

“What we marked down will remain marked down until it is sold out,” she said. “I would like to see a lot of our citizens shop more locally. From what I am seeing the shopping season is just getting started.”

Louisa Mann, owner of Ansley Place in Andalusia, said customers began to fill the store as soon as the doors opened.

“We’ve have been very busy since first thing this morning,” she said. “I have been very excited that we have been very busy since we opened. We are just extremely pleased to see people shopping locally.”

Mike Ward, owner of Ward & Company in Andalusia, said his store opened at 8 a.m. as normal and business has been very good.

“It has been going terrific so far,” he said. “We have been selling a lot of North Face jackets. It has been surprising. We have sold a good number of sunglasses even though it is raining. It has been busy since 8 a.m. We have been selling a lot of our Lucky Brand jeans and It apparel and jeans, which will remain on sale [today].”