Black Friday, a major sales day for most retailers, should’ve been called Black Thursday in Porterville this year, as most of the stores consumers rush to for those big annual deals opened their doors earlier than midnight on Friday.
Big brand stores like Walmart and Target were ready for the crowds of Black Friday shoppers on Thursday evening, before Thanksgiving dinner could even cool down. Target, who boasted huge sales on items including technology, cookware and toys, began their Black Friday sale on Thursday evening at 5 p.m. Walmart followed a similar schedule, opening their doors for Black Friday sales on Thursday evening at 6 p.m. Walmart, who’s well known for money saving Black Friday deals on televisions, home appliances and video games, had swarms of people eager to get their hands on early Christmas gifts.
“I try to get all of my Christmas shopping done on Black Friday,” said Erica Neelon. “This year was harder because I couldn’t come to the store on Thursday, but the deals were still awesome and I crossed several items off of my shopping list.”
Neelon wasn’t the only shopper who recognized the early sales this year. Cristal de Souza, who traveled early Friday morning from Ducor recognized stores had already begun their big sales.
“It’s a tradition for me to come early on Friday mornings,” said de Souza. “It’s hard to get away from family to go shopping on Thanksgiving. I might be ending my tradition this year.”
Kohl’s, a major clothing retailer located in the Target Shopping Center, had their doors open for Black Friday beginning at 5 p.m. on Thursday and remained open throughout the entire night. Ulta Beauty, the neighbor to Kohl’s in the shopping center, also extended their operation hours to cater to Black Friday shoppers. Ulta began its deals at 5 p.m. on Thursday and stayed open until 1 a.m. Friday morning, only to re-open its doors at 5 a.m. Friday morning.
Some stores in town stayed with the traditional Black Friday hours, opening early on Friday morning to a steady flow of customers. Big 5 Sporting Goods opened at 5 a.m. on Friday morning, and will continue to promote its deals through Sunday. Big 5 had some major money cutbacks on popular boot brands including BearPaw, and rollbacks on items including a ping-pong table, trampolines and fleece winter jackets.
Lowe’s Home Improvement Store hosted a single day sale, cutting prices on some of its items for Friday only. Its sales ranged from 25 percent to 40 percent off specially marked items, and slashed prices on a variety of others. Tractor Supply Company tackled Black Friday similar to Lowe’s offering special deals on select items for one-day only. Tractors, grills, pet supplies and much more were on sale all day Friday, and Tractor Supply opened its doors at 6 a.m.
For those who wanted to take part in Black Friday shopping for Christmas gifts, there’s a second chance to grab some inexpensive and unique items. Small Business Saturday is set for today, and will shine a spotlight on locally owned businesses throughout the community. Shoppers can take a walk down Main Street today and take a look at what these small businesses are proud to provide.