Black Friday is one of the most important, if not the most important, shopping day of the year for customers and those who sell to them.
Heavy rain and temperatures as low as 36 degrees in Ardmore didn’t stop many local shoppers from taking advantage of this year’s Black Friday deals at local malls.
With ice-storm warnings and flash-flood watches, the weather was less than optimal for being out and about.
Customers were torn about whether or not their shopping was affected by the weather.
Monica Garcia said the weather didn’t affect her shopping. She wanted to be a part of JCPenney’s deals up to 90 percent off.
“I shop around, but yesterday was my first Black Friday here at JCPenney. We started at 2 a.m.,” Garcia said shortly after 10 a.m. “They opened at 3 a.m. They had lots of boots from $90 marked down to $19.99.”
Linda McGahan, on the other hand, saidthe weather did affect her shopping.
“It sure did,” McGahan said. “I won’t be doing as much (shopping today) as I would be otherwise.”
Jennifer McNeil doesn’t always participate in Black Friday, but did so this year at JCPenney because it’s close to where she lives. She said the weather didn’t affect her shopping.
Agxeris Weddle said she goes later in the day on purpose rather than because of the weather.
“I like to go not so early so it’s not such a rush,” Weddle said in the early afternoon Friday. “I like the low prices. Usually you can’t find something and then it comes out and you’re like I have to get it.”
The best-known, unofficial U.S. holiday received its name in the 1960s as the estimated date for when retailers’ annual bottom line goes from being in the red into the black, according to BlackFriday.com.
Stores then began to open their doors in the wee hours of the morning — now, many of those merchants’ doors open on Thanksgiving, the day preceding Black Friday, offering special deals to entice shoppers.
“The National Retail Federation expected about 30 million to shop on Thanksgiving, compared with 99.7 million on Black Friday,” The Associated Press reported. “Overall, the trade group estimates about 135.8 million people will be shopping during the four-day weekend, compared with 133.7 million last year. And it expects sales overall for November and December to rise 3.7 percent to $630.5 billion compared with the same period last year.”
Store workers all but unanimously said the weather limited sales.
“It definitely affected our sales. We opened at 6 a.m. and we’re just now getting busy,” Rue 21 store manager Tamara Hoagland said around 10 a.m.
Bath and Body Works store manager, Terri Pratt said sales were “a lot slower.”
Even with buy-three-get-three deals storewide, Claire’s manager said sales were down.
“Definitely yes, they came late or not at all just because people don’t want to get out in the rain,” store manager Trinity Rogers said.
Eskimo Joe’s supervisor Krystal Myers said sales picked up later in the day, but were down from last year.
“I did half of what I had done last year from 6 to 8 a.m.,” Myers said. “ I most definitely think it’s affected us.”
Buckle assistant store manager Jenny Manion said the day got off to a slow start, but that sales had started to pick up later in the morning.
“It started out a little bit quieter, but my gosh no, not right now. We are so busy,” Manion said. “It’s started picking up about 9:30 to 10 a.m. It’s right on track.”