Shoppers Head Out For Black Friday

ST. MARYS — Area businesses opened their doors early this morning to crowds of deal-seekers eager to make a dent in their holiday shopping lists.

“We’ve been very steady,” Kohl’s Assistant Manager Julia Dornick said. “The customers have been friendly, and we’ve been doing well.”

Dornick said the store, which opened at midnight, opened its doors to a slew of customers.

“We were the first destination for many people,” she said, noting that Kohl’s opened earlier than most St. Marys businesses.

She noted that the day had gone smoothly.

“The lines have been going very well,” Dornick said. “People have been excited about the deals.”

Dornick said sales will continue this weekend at Kohl’s, with more early bird specials starting at 6 a.m. today and night owl specials beginning at 3 p.m. today.

An electronic item topped many shoppers’ lists this year.

“Tablets were hot items this year,” Dornick said, noting that the store quickly sold out.

Sears owner Rob Gorby said tools were popular at the appliance store.

“Craftsman tools went real well,” he said, noting that snow throwers were also a popular item.

Gorby said the store, which opened at 5 a.m., had a line of approximately 30 to 40 people waiting outside. He noted that customers enjoyed deep discounts until 1 p.m., as part of Sears’ Black Friday special.

“We had some appliances that were up to 50 percent off that went really well,” Gorby said.

He noted that the store did not sell as many big ticket items this year.

“There weren’t as many appliances sold as last year,” he said. “The dollar amount per item was off a little compared to last year.”

Gorby said that while Black Friday is a lot of work, it brings more customers into the store.

“It’s a nice tradition,” he said. “It’s a lot of work. There were hundreds of people here. We could hardly keep up.”

J.C. Penney Supervisor Deb Miller said the department store opened its doors at 4 a.m. to a crowd of approximately 100 people and kept steady throughout the day.

“We’ve been busy,” she said. “We had a lot of good sales.”

Miller noted that toy helicopters were a hot item at J.C. Penny this year.

“The helicopters went really fast,” she said.

Happy Home Bedding and Furniture opened its doors at 7 a.m. this year, and Operations Manager Chris Wibbenmeyer said the early opening was worth it.

“We had a good sale to start off,” he said.

He noted that while the store does not see the crowds that big businesses draw on Black Friday, Happy Home Bedding and Furniture had more people come in.

“We’ve had some people coming in,” he said. “Not as many as the big box stores have, but we’ve had some decent traffic.”

He said the furniture store has most items marked down, and prices will continue to be discounted through the weekend.

“We’ll continue the sales for Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday,” he said.

Area shoppers can seek more sales this weekend at local businesses with Small Business Saturday today.