Shoppers hit the streets for Black Friday

Published 3:00 am Saturday, November 26, 2016

Stores around Pike County were packed with people on Friday for the annual Black Friday sales.

Many people lined up outside of stores long before they even opened their doors to make sure they got to the sales first.

Conleigh Gilmore, a sales associate at Glow, said people were already lined up outside the beauty store when the employees arrived at 6 a.m., still an hour away from opening.

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“It’s all a blur,” Gilmore said. “It was probably about 50 to 75 people that came in right when the doors opened.”

Gilmore said traffic was steady all the way through lunch time for the store. And the shoppers weren’t just looking; they were buying.

“We did a ton of business,” Gilmore said. “Of course, we had a lot on sale. Basically every item in the store was 30 percent off from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m.  That encourages people to purchase things.”

Not every store was so lucky, as one shop owner said that traffic was good but that business was slow. However, based on the owner’s reports, the Square had heavy traffic all morning.

Resident Clara Culpeper also said she saw a lot of people out shopping, and she didn’t start nearly as early as many did.

“I’m not about fighting crowds,” Culpepper said. “I’ve shopped at some downtown shops and ate downtown too. It’s been a great day seeing people out shopping and the weather has been wonderful.”

Some stores off of the highway reported underwhelming sales days.

Debra Pryor, manager at The Shoe Department, said that business had been steady, but that her store was hurt by Fred’s no longer being in the shopping center.

“They had lots of toys and big Black Friday sales which brought a lot of people in, so that’s sort of hurt us in my opinion,” Pryor said.Vini Kirpalani, manager of Step-in-Style, reported that business was down for his store and attributed the decrease in sales to online shopping. “People can just sit at home and click a button now and get what they want.”

National reports back that up as well. Cowen and Co analysts predicted that store traffic would fall up to 4 percent for the day, while forecsting thar online traffic   would grow 20 percent.

Several national retailers have also reported heavy online traffic for the sales holiday.