Retailers take various approaches to Black Friday
By Kyle Vuille
Ranger-Review Staff Writer
Fist fights over Elmo dolls and crazy lines out the door come to mind when you think of Black Friday, but retail stores in and around Glendive have mixed feelings about the shopping extravaganza.
With electronics usually on the top of the list of desired Black Friday sales items, Raleigh Peck of Sidney’s Electricland thinks the peak of the Black Friday sales craze happened “seven or eight years ago.”
“We’d sell lots of those portable DVD players, we’d have a mountain of them, and the people would flood in,” Peck noted.
There are still Black Friday sales to get people in the stores, however, Peck said there really isn’t anything innovative out right now in the tech market that would get a good price drop.
Steve Bury of Hell Creek Music and More noted the price point of hot holiday items like video games were a Black Friday item his store focused on in the past.
“We used to do them, but we buy for the same price you buy them for,” Bury said.
Bury noted his store doesn’t necessarily carry the kind of stuff people run out for on Black Friday.
He does sell basic guitar packages and drum sets, but most people don’t usually purchase those until after Black Friday and a couple weeks before Christmas because it’s hard to hide a drum set from kids.
There are also folks like Lesley Gibbs, Enchanted Living employee, who are optimistic and getting ready for the holiday sales. The Enchanted Living store will be holding sales, but as Gibbs described, the furniture they carry as ones of quality that doesn’t lend itself to deep discounts.
Gibbs said the store isn’t so much about crazy sales, but customers come for quality customer service and goods.
She did say the baking goods and cookware are some of the bigger sellers during the holiday season.
“We want to accommodate to the everyday cook and the gourmet cook,” Gibbs said.
The store’s owners are getting into the traditional Black Friday craze by opening their stores – Enchanted Living and Enchanted Room – at 6 a.m. Friday for shoppers. Another local retailer pushing for earlier hours is Jock Stop opening an hour earlier at 8 a.m. for the holiday shopping day.
Gibbs also mentioned a “Wish List” which allows customers the opportunity to write down the items they like in the store. This gives shoppers the chance to put something under the tree guaranteed to make someone happy.
Judy and Harold Simard of Ranch and Farm in West Glendive have taken a more utilitarian approach to the holiday, because of the absence of Kmart and difficulty people have finding those basic items.
“We’ve already seen an increase because people are looking for things locally that aren’t available because of Kmart,” Judy said.
The Simards said the recent snow has increased business for their store as well with the sales of shovels, winter clothing and snow boots well under way.
The couple said they make their Black Friday orders six months ahead, but would try to order anything that is available to them and most items can be received in a couple days via their weekly truck.
“We have 80,000 items available through our warehouse,” Judy said.
The couple spoke of Craftsmen toolboxes and sets and Christmas lights being some of their popular sales items.
The couple is not too concerned about online shopping or Cyber Monday because they say competing with the internet is now part of everyday business, but the couple did say it seems that every year retailers start their holiday sales earlier every year. Though Ranch and Farm is not opening earlier for Black Friday, the store opens at 7 a.m. during their normal business hours.
Bob Buchholz of Runnings said his store is definitely prepared for a Black Friday rush. The store will be seeing an influx of clothing and toys for the Christmas season and will hold “just a lot of blow out sales.”
Buchholz said he is optimistic of seeing a sales increase here despite the competition of other retailers and the modern wonders of online shopping.
“Cyber Mondays don’t really affect us because we run ads through the end of the month and we have our own online services,” Buchholz said. “We try to keep as many people shopping local as we can.”
Buchholz mentioned some of the better deals on big ticket items will include freezers, fridges, furniture and clothing specials. Runnings is also holding special hours for the big sale day opening at 5 a.m.
But holiday shopping won’t really kick off on Black Friday in Glendive, shoppers have already started.
“Everybody is just pushing it up and up so (Black Friday is) not as big of a deal as it used to be because people are starting (Christmas shopping) earlier and earlier,” Harold said.
Judy seconded this by saying, “People are Christmas shopping already and if you don’t put it out early, you miss a sale.”
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