Black Friday means big business for stores of all sizes - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Black Friday means big business for stores of all sizes

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – The Black Friday shopping marathon began early this year, with a few big box stores choosing to open on Thanksgiving.

Shoppers sprinted from one store to the next in Jonesboro looking for deals, and the extended shopping hours meant big business for stores of all sizes.

Not even cold temperatures could keep shoppers away from the hot holiday deals. Hundreds waited hours outside stores like Target and Best Buy to pick up discounted items like tablets and televisions.

The Gearhead Outfitters store at The Mall at Turtle Creek opened at midnight Friday to a crowd that Manager Megan Farwick could only describe as "insane."

"A line started around like 11:15, 11:30 [p.m.] outside of our store," Farwick said. "The crowd was way bigger than last year's. When we opened the doors, we all played rock-paper-scissors to see who was going to have to do it."

She worked at the mall from midnight until 4 a.m., and then went home to sleep a few hours before helping open the Gearhead store on Main Street at 8 a.m.

"We're doing 10 percent off store wide and buy one, get one half-off all footwear as well as a few in-store specials," Farwick explained. "It hasn't really slowed down so far. It's been pretty steady."

A stream of customers stayed steady for another popular store in Jonesboro on Friday – j. christopher toys, located on West Parker Road.

"A lot of times, people just come in here to de-stress, get some ideas, mark some things off their list and feel very accomplished when they get out," said Mary Horne, the store's owner. "We're tradition for people, but we've had several families in today that it was their first visit. It was exciting to be able to talk to them."

Horne says the toy store may not see long lines like the big box stores do, but Black Friday is still one of her biggest days for sales of the year.

"Black Friday is often the time of the year when retail businesses like myself can kind of make the turn and give the banks a little bit of confidence that we can, you know, sustain," she said.

Most retailers see Black Friday as the official start to the holiday shopping season, and for good reason. The National Retail Federation predicts that more than 140 million people plan to shop over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

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