Black Friday a Success

December 1, 2010, 8:54 AM HST · Updated December 1, 8:54 AM
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Although the name of the most famous shopping holiday of the year – Black Friday – has caused some controversy in the past, it simply alludes to time when stores leave the red (deficit) and enter into the black (profit) as a result of high sales during the holiday season. Entering the black during the 2010 holiday season was something that businesses have been fretting over since the dismal holiday sales of the 2009 holiday season. Fortunately, businesses can stop fretting – it would appear that businesses in Hawaii had a successful start to the holiday season after Black Friday.

According to Fred Paine, manager of Pearlridge Center – one of the largest malls in Hawaii, “it seems like people are ready to spend money again.” During this holiday season, discounts seemed to boost the confidence of shoppers, encouraging them to head to the stores to spend their money. By all accounts, it appeared that on this Black Friday the crowds were much bigger than last year, with herds of shoppers heading out to reap the benefits of the discounts.

At the Pearlridge center, stores like Aeropostale, Champs Sports, GAP, GameStop, Marc Ecko, Jeans Warehouse, and Up & Riding all noted that holiday sales at this time last year were much lower. In fact, Paine noted that it was “difficult to even walk through” the mall at 11 a.m. on Friday, which was several hours after its initial opening on Black Friday. Toys “R” Us saw approximately one thousand people in its store after its opening at ten on Thanksgiving evening.

Manager David Palmer commented the following about Black Friday sales: “We’re seeing sales of bigger-ticket items go up, as well as the number of items they’re buying individually.” Part of the reason for this increase was the half-price specials on some of the products at the store. Julia Pang, a customer at Toys “R” Us noted that “you have a lot of people looking for better deals because the economy is so bad. Christmas is like one of the biggest times of the year. People are willing to spend but it’s all good deals.”

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Some families in line noted that they would be spending close to three thousand dollars during this holiday season, with an increase of about five hundred dollars from last year. These families are a good indicator that the economy is about to rebound.

Additionally, Toys “R” Us pushed up its opening time from midnight last year to encourage people to come and spend money after spending time with their families. In fact, many stores followed suit and opened up earlier than they ever have in previous years. Pearlridge opened everything at six in the morning, while most stores in the building were open at four in the morning.

Only time will tell what the real profits were from Black Friday, but with the inclusion of Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, days that are marketed similarly to Black Friday but not necessarily as popular, holiday sales are assuredly up this year as a result of aggressive marketing of deep discounts.

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