The beginning of the holiday shopping season got off to a slow start for several businesses in St. Charles Parish, while others found success the day after Thanksgiving.
Nationally, sales were up 3 percent on Black Friday from last year, mainly because of buy-one-and-get-one-free offers and other deals from major retailers such as Best Buy, Wal-Mart and J.C. Penny, according to ShopperTrak RCT Corp., which monitored sales at more than 50,000 stores.
Locally, several retailers had average days, while others did better than they expected.
Good Housekeeping, which sells furniture, appliances and lawn and garden equipment, wasn’t busy on Friday, according to Boutte store manager Peter Bodin, though business picked up the next day.
“At this time, people mostly come to us for necessities like refrigerators and other appliances,” Bodin said. “We were pretty busy on Saturday, but Friday was just like a regular day for us.”
Maison Décor, which sells pottery, patio furniture and Christmas décor, had a drawing for a free fountain on Friday. Everyone that made a purchase of $50 or more was entered for a chance to win.
“Business was OK and wasn’t anything to brag about,” store owner Shane Matherne said. “The weather wasn’t the best, so that didn’t help.”
Foxy Lady, which has locations in Luling and Destrehan, also tried to entice customers with a 25 percent off coupon that was good on total purchases of $30 or more. Though the coupon doesn’t expire until Dec. 6, it didn’t help draw in customers on Black Friday.
“We weren’t busy at all,” Millie Derveloy said. “We’ve had better days.”
While many businesses didn’t see a large influx of customers, some locally owned businesses did have a good day.
Charlie Hartman, owner of Hartman’s True Value, had customers who were both shopping for Christmas gifts and doing repair work. Still, while the store was busy, Hartman says it didn’t meet his expectations.
“It was pretty busy, but not as busy as I would have liked,” he said.
For Kristi Brocato, owner of The Basketry in Luling, the day couldn’t have gone any better. The Basketry gave the first 50 customers of the day on Friday a free Tyler Jar candle, and offered 30 percent off on almost all merchandise. The store also gave away a day of drive-free shopping in a limo and had popular New Orleans band Benny Grunch and the Bunch perform live.
“We did great,” Brocato said. “We opened early and it was just a really fun day. We kicked off the holiday season just the way we wanted to.”
Great Southern Furniture, which is in the midst of a going out of business sale that ends on Dec. 20, got rid of tons of merchandise over the holiday weekend.
“Friday, Saturday and Sunday were record days for us,” store co-owner Jack Fisher said.