Black Friday

Published 3:54 pm Thursday, November 25, 2010

Residents ready for the blackest of Fridays

While most people anticipate Thanksgiving feasts, for many they are merely an elaborate tailgating party for the long-standing tradition that follows the fourth Thursday of every November: Black Friday.

Each year, retail stores prepare for the event by scheduling extra workers, slashing prices and finding ways to draw as many shoppers as possible to their stores.

It is commonly known as the most profitable day of the year for businesses, the day they put down the red pens and start using black ink in their ledgers.

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This year, stores have gone so far as to open on Thursday night.

Keri Bain planned to start her shopping expedition at 10 p.m. Thursday at Toys “R” Us and shop until at least 8 a.m. Friday morning.

“Thanksgiving Day, we prepare and try to relax in preparation for the big day,” Bain said. “We’ll eat turkey and take a quick nap. In the past, we hit the stores at 2 a.m., but this year we’re starting at 10 p.m. and just keep going until the morning.”

Bain began the tradition with her mother about four years ago after the birth of her son.

After her husband saw the $700-plus savings, he became a quick convert to the tradition.

“We compare things like movies at each store and see who is selling it at the lowest price,” Bain said. “We set up our game plan of what we’re going to get where, and tweak it as new ads come out.”

Bain admits the stores are crowded, the lines are long and waiting in line can be tedious, but it’s something she enjoys.

“Call me morbid, but I enjoy it,” Bain said. “It’s like the running of the bulls. It starts the beginning of my Christmas season.”

Another area shopper, Susan Blair, celebrates the beginning of the Christmas shopping season with her husband in New York City, where they spend the day shopping ‘til they drop.

Local retail stores said they have been preparing for the Christmas season for months — A. Dodson’s purchased Christmas items in January — and there is usually increased business but there is rarely, if ever, the chaos reported at other stores.

“We bring in a few other girls than normal and the day kicks off our holiday hours, but we don’t do too, too much,” said Sarah Bailey, manager of A. Dodson’s.

The day local retailers are really looking forward to this year is Saturday, some said.

“There is Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but this year is supposed to be ‘Shop Small on Saturday’ to encourage people to buy local,” said Marcy Miller, proprietor of Uniquely Leo’s. “Local businesses are the backbone of America.”