Local stores see sales spike on Black Friday

December 09, 2009 at 10:51 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Several area retailers reported strong sales on Black Friday, with some saying that the annual kick off to the holiday shopping season was the busiest one they have had in years.

“It was unbelievable,” Good Housekeeping manager Peter Bodin said. “We offered our merchandise tax free on Friday and it went extremely well. I could have used three more sales people.

“Black Friday went better for us this year than it has gone for the past several years.”

Judy Sapir, of Courtney’s Hallmark in Destrehan, also said that Black Friday was a big success.

“It went really well,” she said. “It was better than last year.”

Shane Matherne, who owns Boutte-based Maison Décor, also had strong sales on Friday and attributed it to the outpouring of local residents.

“It was excellent,” he said. “Last year was actually good for us compared to previous years, but Black Friday was great for us this year.

“I saw more local people visit the store this year than in years past, so hopefully more people are shopping in our area.”

And some store owners noticed people shopping in the parish early on Friday instead of waiting until they got home from Metairie, Kenner or New Orleans.

“Compared to last year, our sales were up,” Sandra Kinler, the owner of Destrehan-based Bon Ton Roula, said. “People were also shopping earlier in the day this year. Last year, a lot of people came in the evening after spending all of their money at the mall.”

Michael Haydel, of Haydel’s Furniture and Appliances, agrees.

“We did fairly well in the morning, but it kind of tapered off in the afternoon,” he said. “Overall though we did better for sure than we did last year.”

And it wasn’t just busy on Black Friday for some retailers. Roussel’s Jewelry manager Anthony Lucia said the entire week was a good one.

“We were actually busy all week and then Friday went great,” he said. “It was definitely bigger than last year and it was probably the busiest Black Friday we’ve had here.”

While most of the local retailers offered deals to get customers in the door, Luling’s The Basketry also had a live music performance by Benny Grunch.

“We did really well,” store owner Kristi Brocato, who also offered a 30 percent off tent and other deals, said. “We opened at 5:30 a.m. and it was just a really fun day.”

Though sales were strong locally, retailers did struggle nationally.

In fact, sales only rose .5 percent on Black Friday this year as opposed to last year.

In 2008, Black Friday sales measured by ShopperTrak rose 3 percent compared to the prior year’s Black Friday. Last year’s entire holiday season marked the worst performance in nearly 40 years.

Industry executives and analysts have predicted a tough holiday season that may show only a slight improvement over 2008 due to a weak economy and high unemployment.

View other articles written Jonathan Menard

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