Tahlequah Daily Press

November 27, 2013

Shops ready for Black Friday

Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — A source of excitement for some, and apprehension for others, Black Friday looms.

The day after Thanksgiving is one of the busiest shopping days of the year. Many begin their Christmas shopping, and businesses and bargain-hunters are making preparations to deal with the crush of holiday traffic.

“We like to call this ‘Old Home Week,’” said Connie Singleton, owner of Edie’s Fashions and Gifts, which has been in business for 15 years. “We get to see family and friends that we haven’t seen in a while who come back home. It makes it a lot of fun.”

While the week brings many people back to familial surroundings, many use the Friday off to get their Christmas shopping done.

Contrary to urban legend, it is not the year’s busiest shopping day. That’s usually the Saturday before Christmas.

Nevertheless, many shops are offering Black Friday deals to those who brave - or love - the rush.

“We have wonderful baby gifts,” Singleton said. “We just got in a big selection of stuffed animals. Many of our Spanx styles will be 25 percent off. Rugs and lamps are half off. Clocks are 40 percent off. We are really looking forward to it. Our sales will actually start Wednesday.”

Meghan Lowry, of Lowry’s Liquidation, has noticed a trend of retailers starting their Black Friday sales early.

“In the past, Black Friday was huge,” she said. “Everybody was out early, ready to shop, ready to spend money. Now there are basically Black Friday sales before Black Friday. Plus there are the online specials, so a lot of people shop from home.”

The desire of retailers to move Black Friday to Wednesday or Tuesday was understandable, Lowry said.

“I think stores want to extend the start of holiday shopping and make the season last a little longer,” she said. “Many stores operate at a loss much of the time, but turn a profit for the year during the holidays. There have been years like that for us.”

Despite the temptation to start early, Lowry’s Liquidation will begin its Black Friday sale on Friday.

“We will be true to the day,” Lowry said. “We will have specials, and some door-buster deals just for Friday. There will be specials throughout our clothing department, on our vacuum cleaners, and we are expecting a delivery of new tool chests [Tuesday or Wednesday]. They will make great Christmas gifts for guys.”

At Junie’s Closet, the Black Friday sale will feature 15 percent off everything in the store, 70 percent off sale rack items and a giveaway contest for an outfit worth more than $200.

“We want people to know the store is fully stocked with new clothes, and that we appreciate shoppers supporting downtown Tahlequah,” said owner June Ludwig.

Everything Under the Sun will offer its “game day” apparel and Zebra bracelet line at 40 percent off, and has new clothing and scarves in stock.  

The use of the term “Black Friday” in reference to the day after Thanksgiving has become popular in the past 20 years, but it is believed to date to the mid-1960s.

The suspected origin isn’t flattering. In Philadelphia, police officers, cabbies and bus drivers used “Black Friday” to refer to the jam of shoppers driving the city’s streets.

Starting the holiday shopping season on Thanksgiving Friday dates back much farther, with retailers luring shoppers with sales in the 1890s. By the Great Depression, the day was firmly established in the public discourse as a time to start Christmas shopping. Today, it is estimated that 135 million people shop on Black Friday each year.