Retail workers geared up for a long day of crowds and sales, and smaller stores will have to be savvy about how they handle what’s sure to be a busy weekend.
Speaking Love Roses, a relative newcomer to The Shops at Ardmore, has only been open for four months. Store owners Bobbie and Jimmy Hawkins said this will mark their first Black Friday.
“We don’t really know what to expect,” Jimmy said.
The store makes customized roses, fresh or silk, with messages on them. The store also carries bath and body products, decorations, candles, knick knacks and other gifts, many of which can be customized.
“I’ve made signs for newborn nurseries, with weight, date and all of that,” Bobbie said. “We do a lot of personalization stuff.”
Unlike most stores, the Hawkins family does not have a large staff at their disposal. Bobbie said her game plan was to stock the shelves well in advance of Black Friday.
“We’ve gotten a few new items in the last week, trying to prep for Black Friday,” Bobbie said. “It’s all things we probably would have added at some point, because we’re trying to increase our inventory.”
“Being a small business, we just have to do a little bit more at a time, so that’s what we’re doing,” Bobbie said. “We’ve been getting in extras of our bestsellers so they’d be here.”
Jami Wilson, a manager at Factory Connection, said she’s worked the past three Black Fridays at The Shops. She said the store has been promoting sales with signs in the store all week and expects a large crowd.
“I bring more staff in to accommodate our sales and we have an increase in freight,” Wilson said. “There is a lot of prep work. It is a lot easier to keep everything together if you have proper signage.”
She said that while last year had a healthy turnout, she’s expecting a larger one this year.
“People are starting to shop local,” Wilson said. “I think that with all the new businesses coming to Ardmore, they’re excited about it. I think they’re going to be more excited to go shopping in their home town, not Oklahoma City or Dallas.”