From Black Friday to Cyber Monday - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

From Black Friday to Cyber Monday

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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  The busiest shopping day of the year may just be the best shopping day for retailers. Overall, shoppers hit the stores and spent more money on black Friday than they did last year.

Several stores in Albany drew huge crowds in the wee hours on the day after Thanksgiving, but one day of shopping can't undo an entire year of sales slumps.

The good news is last Friday was better than the same day last year. The bad news is this year has been worse than the last overall. Shoppers who are spending are making smart choices and practical purchases, looking for good deals for the holidays.

"Let's see what the damage is going to be." Chestina Moore hit the stores on Friday.  "I did a little shopping on Friday and there were some big items that I bought that I normally wouldn't have gotten, but the sales were really good."

But she's not a fan of the long lines and fighting for the best deals. "I don't like crowds." So she's back at it again Monday.  "Right now I'm shopping for my great niece, she's in more need than anyone else in my household is, so we're shopping for her today."

While she may not have liked the crowds Friday, lots of people apparently didn't mind.  "Friday was a phenomenal day for us, really." said JC Penney Store Manager Joseph Iles.

Penney in Albany wasn't supposed to open until 4:00 Friday morning. When Store Manager Joseph Iles arrived at three, people were already in the parking lot, so he opened the doors a little early. 

"We thought doing a soft opening would give consumers opportunity to come out to Penney's and not have to stand in line. You drove up, saw the doors open, got a little excited and started spending money."

The busiest hour was between four and five AM. And it stayed busy all day. He hopes that continues all season. "I think the driving force is going to be price. What is it that I'm really going to pay for this item?"

Iles wouldn't say if the day moved him from the red to the black, but he said you can't make up for a bad economy in one day. That's why you'll see good deals throughout the season. 

"If the price is right, customers spend." And he hopes for more folks like Chestina, will keep spending all the way up through Christmas. "have a nice holiday."

Of course, today is another big day for retailers, or e-tailers. It's cyber Monday, where many shoppers can get some of the best on-line deals of the year.

Stores like JC Penney are helping the economy, not just by sales, but by employees. In Albany, they've hired 45 people to work part time through the season.

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