Black Friday boost or bust?
December 2, 2011
Kimball Junction retailers got just what they wanted for Black Friday this year. Outlet shoppers from Idaho and Wyoming drove into town for discounts and deals. Locals waited in line at Best Buy and Wal-Mart for reduced prices and one-time-offers. The big box stores were swamped with people in search of a bargain.
"Last year was good, but this year was better," said Tanger Outlet General Manager Nancy Gray. "We saw more people. And the crowds stayed steady all night long."
"We’re definitely up from past years," she added.
The Black Friday sales at Tanger Outlets, Best Buy and Wal-Mart all started at 10 p.m. and carried on all night never missing a beat.
Best Buy Assistant Manager Mitchell Baker said at any point in the night, it seemed like there were at least 100 more people in the store than last year.
"It was a little bit of craziness, but an organized craziness," he said. "There were consistently people coming in. We sold out of a lot of stuff."
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Black Friday shoppers stayed focused on Kimball Junction through the weekend.
the end of the work day Friday, bones were picked clean in some stores. Best Buy sold out entirely on some promotions while Tanger Outlets still had overflow parking along the streets.
Emily Lister of East Millcreek picked through Coach wallets with friends as her Black Friday finally started winding down. Her group had been shopping since 10 p.m. the night before.
"We’ve been everywhere. Wal-Mart, Toys ‘R Us, Home Depot and now here," Lister said. "But I never really thought to go to Main Street. There aren’t really deals there."
Lister said she felt like she got her shopping done fort he holidays, but managed to keep the Christmas atmosphere alive by shopping in Park City.
But as shoppers were hunting for deals in Kimball Junction, Main Street was calm. No door sale madness or midnight gimmick, just groups meandering up and down, peeking into store windows and settling on a restaurant for lunch.
That’s what Main Street shopper and South Ogden resident Becky Costello wanted for her Black Friday.
"I’d pay a premium not to deal with crowds," Costello said. "The outlets have never appealed to me. Shopping is more about the charm than a price."
Mike Thurston, an Oakland, CA resident visiting friends for Thanksgiving, was on the same page.
"It’s not like department-store shopping," he said. "We don’t do Wal-Mart or Kohl’s.
This is quieter."
Main Street business owner Sue Fassett of Dolly’s Bookstore said she wasn’t as interested in playing to a Black Friday crowd as she was interested in quality and service for her customers.
"What would it be on Main Street without all the little independent stores," Fassett said.
"They have a lot more sales, but that’s OK."