Black Friday shopping gets an early start

By Frank Lewis

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“Man, I got my four hours sleep and I’m ready to roll,” Bill Mason, manager of the New Boston Walmart store said early Friday Morning. “I left here at 11 (p.m.). It went real well. There’s still a ton of people in here. There was a lot of people in here early this morning, 6 o’clock, 7 o’clock. It started with more people than last year at this time.”

Online shopping may have slowed things down a bit for Black Friday, but shoppers still did the traditional thing and turned out for advertised specials.

“Online shopping happened yesterday (Thursday). That would have affected the sales, but we get the credit for the online shopping anyway,” Mason said. “But I think what’s going to happen is today (Friday) is going to be way bigger than last year. We’ve got a lot more left over than we had last year because they ordered about the same amount. They got some real bargains, but all of that stuff is at the same price through the day today.”

Mason said the crowds could be attributed to some of the specials such as 55 inch TVs for under $300, kids clothing for $4.75, men’s Wranglers for $10, ladies fleece for $8.

“Last year we had a 6 o’clock (p.m. Thursday) ad and then 8 o’clock was electronics,” Mason said. “The next morning at 7 they did sporting goods and automotive. This year we just had that 6 o’clock (p.m. Thursday) and I think they’re making up for it today it seems like.”

At the height of Thursday’s shopping event, Mason said cars were parked as far across the lot as Game Stop, hundreds of yards from the Walmart store.

“Fortunately, everything went well, no accidents, no fist-fighting,” Mason said.

Jim Bartram, manager of the New Boston Kmart store said online shopping was also a part of Kmart Black Friday experience.

“We have done a lot of online orders,” Bartram said. “We fill local online orders if someone goes online and orders something and then picks it up in the store. We were steady all day (Thursday) and we’ve been steady all morning (Friday) too.”

Bartram said there was still a good number of in-store shoppers.

“It has been good,” Bartram said. “We had a good crowd yesterday (Thursday) morning and a good crowd at 7 o’clock last night there was a real good crowd, a little better than last year, so it was pretty steady.”

Bartram said a three-day ad that started Thursday morning and runs through Saturday, has been bringing in the shoppers as well as the 7 p.m. Thursday ad that was scheduled to run through 2 p.m. Friday.

“Yesterday was awesome,” Tammy Wiedbrauk, manager at the Portsmouth Big Lots store said. “Today (Friday) is a little slow.”

Wiedbrauk said the big focus for Big Lots is their three day specials.

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.

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Wayne Allen | Daily Times Thousands of people were at the New Boston Walmart Thursday night to take advantage of sales. Allen | Daily Times Thousands of people were at the New Boston Walmart Thursday night to take advantage of sales.