Black Friday still busy despite rain

Published 4:08 pm Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday dawned dark and gloomy in the Camellia City. However, the rain didn’t stop shoppers from turning out to bag those early bird bargains at area retailers.

“I’ve been looking out this window since 4:30 a.m., and it’s only quit raining for maybe 35 or 40 minutes . . . so it’s kind of shocked me we had as many people turn out as we did this morning. There was a good crowd here ready to shop,” said Randy Beeson, owner/manager of Fred’s Discount Store, which offered a special sale kicking off at 5 a.m.

Bill McCrary, manager of the Greenville Wal-Mart Super Center, reported a “big crowd” at the store at 5 a.m. waiting to put the store’s Black Friday specials in their shopping carts.

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“We are fortunate. Being a 24-hour store, our customers were able to come into the store beforehand and not wait outside in the bad weather,” McCrary said.

“We had certain areas of the store roped off, and people could not shop in those spots until 5 a.m. But they were certainly lining up for the items they wanted, and didn’t waste any time, once the clock struck 5 a.m.”

At mid-afternoon on Friday, Beeson said the Greenville Fred’s was running “about even” with last year’s Black Friday.

“I would have to say it’s been a conservative, but consistent, Black Friday for us,” Beeson said.

“I really figured we’d be off sales-wise, with it falling so close to the end of the month, and with all the rain today, but we are doing OK. We actually had increase in sales on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, which was great.”

The big sellers at Fred’s for Black Friday?

“Toys! Toys are way up from last year at this time. We offered a play kitchen set, same set as last year, and we must have sold at least 25 this morning; we probably sold 15 at the most last year,” Beeson said.

Another big seller at Beeson’s store: electronics.

“People were buying mp3 and mp 4 players, DVD players, VCR/DVD player combos, TVs – those were really hot. We temporarily ran out of one of the DVD players, but we arranged to bring more in from our store in Georgiana, so we were able to take care of our customers,” Beeson said.

Toys and electronics were also filling shopping carts early this morning at the Greenville Wal-Mart Super Center, where a “big crowd” was waiting to start nabbing their

“The old standards, the toys – kids have got to have those toys for Christmas,” McCrary said.

Electronics were certainly a big seller as well, and people were buying a lot of the price-pointed apparel we offered for all ages. We had a good day sales-wise, a lot of customers, and a good group. They were very cordial.”

Beeson echoed McCrary’s positive comments on the behavior of Fred’s Black Friday customers.