Retailers report record weekend

Published 12:03 am Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Local merchants are reporting a strong and even record-breaking weekend of sales, a trend that is following the national holiday shopping scene.

Goody’s manager Leslie Melton said that the weekend was a good one.

“We did things a little differently this year,” she said. “We opened up at 8 p.m. on Thursday night and then opened again on Friday. We did a little better than last year, and the format was better. It wasn’t as crowded, and people didn’t have to wait in line as much.”

JCPenney manager Dennis Cockrell said Black Friday was the biggest in his eight years at the Andalusia store.

“We opened at 6 a.m. this year,” he said. “We had 200-300 people. Everyone was nice and understanding. Most said, ‘It’s Black Friday. We know it’s going to be crazy.’”

Cockrell said he’s thrilled at how the day went.

“Black Friday is the only day of the year we have a sale because we offer our lowest prices every day,” he said. “We had a lot of good deals. Overall, we beat our plans.”

On Saturday, local small businesses participated in Small Business Saturday, and Ansley Place owner Louisa Baker said her store was “very, very busy.”

“We’re blessed,” Baker said. “We are grateful for each and every customer. I think it was busier than last year.”

Nationally, a survey released by the National Retail Federation on Sunday showed that Americans shopped stores and websites at record numbers over the weekend.

A record 247 million shoppers visited stores and websites over the four-day weekend, which is up 9.2 percent from a year ago.

That’s not all, either.

The average holiday shopper spent $423 this past weekend, which is up from $398 last year. Total spending for the four-day weekend is estimated at $59.1 billion, which is up nearly 13 percent from 2011.

And the shopping wasn’t expected to stop there. One digital analysis group says spending on Cyber Monday could surpass $1.25 million, which is up 20 percent in 2011.