Black Friday shopping begins

Published 12:04 am Friday, November 29, 2013

Merchants around the nation have been awaiting the opening of Black Friday as scores of shoppers head out in search of outrageous deals.

Big box stores and small retailers alike are offering discounts on merchandise; however, for some local residents fighting the crowds just isn’t worth it.

Samantha Kelley McDaniel of Florala said most Black Friday shopping pros are “scared to share their secrets” on getting a good deal.

Jeffery Biggs said shoppers should avoid the morning rush.

“Don’t go shopping in the morning,” he said. “And stick to the locally-owned businesses. Pay the few extra dollars or usually cents for a higher-quality product if it’s possible, and usually it is.”

Donna Bass Maraman said she will not be among the crowd today.

“It’s online shopping for me, all day long,” she said.

Area retailers like Walmart, JC Penney and Goody’s have hired additional help for the Christmas season.

JCP Manager Dennis Cockrell said previously if the amount of hires made this year is indicative of foot traffic in the store, the local economy could be looking at a boost from this year’s shopping season.

Walmart actually began its post-Thanksgiving sales at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Locally, the crowd was so large, shoppers were parked at adjacent department stores, in the bays of the service station, and on the grass.

Shoppers should also be reminded that tomorrow, Nov. 30, is “Small Business Saturday.”

Described as a day to celebrate and support small businesses and all they do for their communities, residents are encouraged to patronize the area’s brick and mortar businesses.

“As you plan your shopping strategy, please consider the opportunity to help your local merchants and community by shopping at home,” said Andalusia Chamber of Commerce President Jesse Self. “Our local merchants do a wonderful job of providing a vast array of merchandise that is sure to meet your needs, as well as your wants.

“If a store doesn’t have what you desire, ask if they can get it for you,” he said.