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Businesses hoping Black Friday kicks off good season

By Staff | Nov 27, 2008

Black Friday has traditionally been the most profitable, if not the wildest, shopping day of the year. Yet, with the economy providing a serious crunch to disposable incomes nationwide, today’s Black Friday might turn out to be a light shade of gray.
Still, that has not stopped area businesses for preparing and hoping for the best possible outcome this holiday season.
Cape-based and corporate stores alike are keeping their hopes alive, some even finding a niche within the grandiose madness of the one-day shopping event, looking at receipts over the entire month of December instead of the intense rush of doorbuster sales.
The Wal-mart on Del Prado Boulevard in Cape Coral — which operates 24 hours a day — will have bargain hunters lining up in specially designated areas to take advantage of the super sales that were set to begin at 5 a.m.
Store Manager Steve Durham was not worried about a lack of shoppers. He expects the number to rival last year’s turnout.
He added he did not know what time people would start to line up outside the store.
“It depends, every year it’s different. Sometimes people start lining up on Thanksgiving Day to take advantage of certain bargains,” Durham said.
On the opposite end of the large scale, big box shopping equation, smaller, specialty boutiques throughout the Cape are thinking their chances are more than favorable to survive the predicted holiday shopping doldrums.
Black Friday business at June’s Hallmark, operating in downtown Cape for 30 years, tends to warm as the day progresses.
Owner Jane Hartz said people tend to wander into her shop in the early afternoon, after their trips to the mall or other large-scale shopping centers.
“It’s very slow in the morning, but as people come back from the malls, we do very good in the afternoon,” Hartz said.
June’s Hallmark also finds ways to separate itself from larger retailers by offering services including wrapping and shipping.
“A lot of my customers are over 65 and they don’t want to get in the mob,” Hartz added. “We do everything that needs to be done.”
Like June’s, The Red Barn, an antique specialty store, plans on catering to a very specialized customer base, knowing it cannot compete with bigger, national stores.
Owner Lois Murray credits a “steady customer base” that will keep her plugging all throughout December.
“Our November has been super, I’m looking forward to December being great,” she said. “I have a faithful line of customers.”