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Shoppers turn out for Black Friday specials

Despite rainy weather and a slow economy, Pike County stores reaped the benefits of Black Friday this year.

“This is the best one we’ve had in about three years,” said Wal-Mart Store Manager Bobby Brackenridge. “It exceeded our expectations.”

While Wal-Mart didn’t close for Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday sales didn’t begin until 5 a.m., and Brackenridge said people were there early and waiting.

“The earliest arrived at 3:30,” Brackenridge said.

And by noon Friday, he said things were only getting better.

At Goody’s Family Clothing Store, it was a similar story.

“We actually had people waiting for us to open,” said Tim Mulligan, store manager. “It doesn’t appear the rain affected any of the shoppers.”

Parking lots of local stores were full early Friday morning, and shoppers were pleasant despite crowded walkways and long lines.

Deloris Mount of Brantley, with her shopping cart full at Wal-Mart Friday morning, said shopping on Black Friday is a yearly tradition.

“Oh yeah, I come every year,” Mount said. “I come for the specials.”

Mount, who was in Lowes at 5 a.m. and Wal-Mart by 5:30, said some years she has had to endure lines to enter stores, but this year she had no wait.

For other local shoppers, Black Friday shopping was a new experience.

“This is our first time and probably our last,” said Amy Jinright.

Jinright and her husband said they were at Wal-Mart Friday morning seeking electronics, and the rain almost kept them home.

“We decided we would take the chance and come out,” Jinright said.

Another first-time shopper came looking for deals but said he wasn’t finding what he wanted.

“Everybody said there’s cheap stuff, but I haven’t found anything cheap yet,” said Lottreal Wright of Troy.

Then other shoppers Friday morning were just out to kill some time.

“We celebrated Thanksgiving all day long yesterday. We had some for lunch and some for dinner, so we ate on and off all day,” said Becky Anderson. “This morning, we had some time to kill before we had to serve lunch.”

And still others were shopping for a different reason.

“I took advantage of today to get toys for Toys 4 Tots,” said Toys 4 Tots Coordinator Lt. Sherri Senn. “This is the first year I decided to do it for Toys 4 Tots.”

Senn said with money leftover from last year’s budget and an economy leaving more children in need of Christmas gifts this year, Black Friday was a perfect time to take advantage of the sales.

“It actually couldn’t happen at a better time,” Senn said.