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Black Friday attracts thrifty shoppers

Merchants say sales event sets stage for Christmas buying season

— While a couple of local big box stores planned to be open Thursday afternoon as a harbinger of Black Friday sales, most shoppers waited until Friday morning to hit the shops for major discounts.

Merchants use Black Friday as a predictor of how the holiday shopping season will go.

Shoppers were out Friday morning looking for deals on PlayStation game consoles and VR systems at Walmart.

They also hit the local Sears store looking for new kitchen appliances and other items.

“We’re having Friday door buster prices on appliances and tools,” Sears employee Daniel Garzon said Wednesday. “A lot of people were in early to place orders for new appliances, which we can delivery within a few days.”

Meanwhile, other merchants like Ty Hoffard of Marchant Home Furnishings said his Black Friday to be a bit more relaxed.

“I’ll have people come in to check out the great deals on our La-Z-Boy and Flexsteel recliners and recliner sofas,” Hoffard said. “We may not have a lot of the ‘hot’ items for sale, but what we have will last a lot longer.”

At J.C. Penney Co., an employee said the store had been gearing up for a busy weekend that started last Thursday.

But a lot of small business owners prefer not to worry about the hype around Black Friday.

Locally, small merchants offer something big stores can’t.

“We offer value every day,” Sixth States Gallery owner Carol Ashby said. “Which is not to say we won’t have some in-store specials.”

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