custom polo shirts cheap Black Friday a mixed bag for local retailers
MANCHESTER Black Friday was a strong start to the holiday shopping season or simply another Friday, depending on where you looked in one of Southern Vermont most popular shopping destination.
The sidewalks and parking lots along Manchester Main and Barnum streets were packed and so were many of the popular outlet stores as well as the Northshire Bookstore and the Orvis Flagship Store but things were a little quieter at some of the locally owned shops.
Ovington has only managed the Manchester store for about a month but said he was familiar enough with the reports of traffic and sales from the last Black Friday to know this year was in every regard. day after Thanksgiving, popularly known as Black Friday, is generally considered the kickoff to the holiday shopping season. Penney opened an hour earlier, and the stores were busy, according to general manager Chris Thayer. He and business owners greeted 800 people at the start of the biggest shopping day of the year.
right there told me it was going to be a good day, said Thayer, adding that was three times the size of last year crowd coming through the doors.
His theory is the high gas prices are keeping people close to home and they are choosing to support their community economy. Even buying at chain stores is buying local, if it is in our neighborhood, said Thayer.
The throng began early at the mall, when many early bird sales were taking place. Again, holiday shoppers are choosing to save money where they can on the other side of having to invest in filling their gas tanks, said Thayer.
been a fabulous day, he said. excited. We think we off to a great start to the holiday season. tour around the mall before heading home for the day resulted in positive feedback from shop owners. Only a couple had not seen the sales they were hoping for, he said. They were places with higher priced merchandise, but as far as sales, up for the most part, Thayer said.
Steve Metcalfe, owner of the Magic Sleigh on Main Street in Manchester, said Saturday is usually a busier day for him than Black Friday. Metcalfe said many of his customers were second home owners who spent Thanksgiving with their families somewhere else and returned to Vermont on Saturday.
don get the major Albany business that we used to get. Maybe it the gas prices, he said.
Next door to the Magic Sleigh, Heinel Clothiers was also quieter than many of the name brand outlets.
customers haven arrived yet. They still sleeping in and recovering from Thanksgiving, said Carol Jodlbauer, who co owns the store with her husband, Harlan Levy.
According to Levy, Heinel which has been open more than 15 years, has seen Black Friday business slow down over the past few years, with more customers coming later in the season.
not going to get what you see on TV with people lined up at midnight. This is a small town, Levy said.
Across the street at Seychelles Fashion Boutique, owner Amber Hamilton, agreed that her customers are more likely to be locals or second home owners.
get a lot of people who will come in here at the end of the day. You know what I hear a lot? should have come here first. Because the outlets really aren that cheap, she said.
Hamilton said the second day after Thanksgiving would probably be busier at her store.
weekend as a whole, that how I gauge it, she said.
The Northshire Bookstore and the Mountain Goat were busy Friday afternoon. it was still early to judge the weekend but said it seemed to be busier than the same weekend last weekend.
At the Mountain Goat on Main Street, owner Ron Houser said the cold weather probably contributed to the steady flow of customers.
weather cold, there snow on the ground and it feels like (the holidays), he said. Houser said he thought part of the store success came from shoppers who came to the Mountain Goat looking for Vermont products.
There were certainly a large number of tourists who were coming to Manchester to take advantage of all the shopping possibilities in a small location.
crazy. I think we waited too long to come out. It like a zoo here now, there no place to park, she said.
hate shopping. I just here because we came up for a long (skiing) weekend. Ordinarily this would be the last day of the year I would want to be out here but we actually having a pretty good time, he said.