Retailers ready for Black Friday

Friday, November 27, 2009

The holiday shopping season has arrived, and area retailers say they're prepared to handle the influx of shoppers expected to visit their stores today.

Brown's Shoe Fit Co. in Cape Girardeau will hold a tailgate party from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in an attempt to draw in more customers. Manager Jason Longwith said this is the first year the shoe store has undertaken the effort.

"The Thanksgiving weekend already has a lot of football games, so we thought we'd have some fun with it by having the tailgate party with food and games," Longwith said.

A forecast by the National Retail Federation predicts sales in November and December will drop 1 percent to $437.6 billion. However, in a survey released Wednesday the group said it expects 134 million, or 6 million more people than last year, to shop from Black Friday through Sunday.

Nearly 29 percent of those are expected to shop between 4 and 6 a.m., the federation said.

"Regardless of what we've already seen these last few weeks in terms of promotions, retailers still have a few tricks up their sleeves to excite Black Friday shoppers," said National Retail Federation president and chief executive officer Tracy Mullin. "With retailers fully aware that shoppers are looking for incredible deals, Americans can expect huge sales on popular items like toys, electronics and apparel."

Teresa Meier, co-owner of Meier Horseshoe Pines in Jackson, said Black Friday is one of the tree farm and gift shop's busiest days of the year. Meier said she and the other 14 employees are ready for today's customers.

"We're praying for good weather," Meier said. "Black Friday is traditionally one of our biggest days of the year in terms of sales and visitors. Simply put, it's critical that everything comes together right."

Eddie Ross, co-owner of Ross Furniture in Jackson, said that while he doesn't expect Black Friday to be his store's No. 1 day in terms of sales, he believes it will match a normal Saturday, one of his busiest days of the week. He expects recliners and mattresses to be among the most popular items sold today.

"Just about the entire store is on sale," Ross said. "We're ready for the madness. People are in the Christmas spirit and are ready to spend some money on gifts for friends and family."

bblackwell@semissourian.com

388-3628

Pertinent addresses:

2146 County Road 330, Jackson, MO

116 S. High St., Jackson, MO

115 N. Main St., Cape Girardeau, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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