Like Scotland High School football fans, Laurinburg merchants hope to turn this Black Friday to plaid, encouraging shoppers to make their purchases in town on the biggest shopping day of the year.
“Black represents the fact that technically it’s the day that your books go out of the red and into the black and you’re actually making money, but we are calling it Plaid Friday in the hopes that people will think local, stay local, and spend their money here in town,” said Harley Norris of Harley’s Tuxedo and Gifts, also vice-president of the Chamber’s board of directors.
Several downtown business owners expect Scotland merchandise to be among the day’s biggest sellers, as the Scotland football team will face New Bern that evening to determine which team will play in the 4-A state championship.
“We brought in some new stuff for Christmas and I’ll have some things reduced, but I anticipate that Friday’s going to be all about selling tickets,” said ShirtTales owner Jim Willis, who expects that the holiday weekend will allow more locals to travel to the game.
“I can’t decide if it’s a good or bad thing that it’s Thanksgiving weekend,” Willis said. “For me it’s bad because I’m in retail and I’ve got to be here, but I think for a lot of people it’ll be good because it is a holiday weekend and it’s a three and a half hour drive, so it’ll be a haul.”
Although Norris will be expanding his hours this weekend, opening at 8 a.m. on Friday and 9 a.m. on Saturday, those keen to participate in the consumerist extravaganza commonly associated with Black Friday can get an early start at Laurinburg’s Walmart.
The store was open throughout the night, with blowout sales at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day and 5 a.m. on Friday. Walmart hopes to bring customers in to take advantage of deep discounts on iPads, televisions, and laptop computers.
“There are a few electronic items that we anticipate to be big sellers this year,” said Christina Haney, a code manager at Walmart.
Laurinburg’s Goody’s department store opened on Thanksgiving Day from 8 p.m. to midnight, and will open on Friday at 6 a.m, featuring over 300 doorbusters throughout the Black Friday frenzy.
Store manager Kashae Beverley expected the store’s severely reduced-price items, like women’s boots and an Android tablet, to go out of stock quickly.
For gifts with a more personal flavor, locally-owned businesses will throw their own discounts into the mix.
“We do have some sales that we’re going to do that day,” Norris said. “We realize that we can’t compete with the big boys out there and the huge price reductions that they can do, but we’re going to jump out there and offer some deals in the hope that people will think about staying here in town.”
Norris expects college-themed art and memorabilia to be a good seller for him, as well as clothing and collectibles.
“The Salt Life has been a huge line for us,” he said. “We picked them up in the summertime and we sold a lot of it this past Sunday at Christmas On Main. Vera Bradley is always a favorite with women and we’ve got that marked down as well.” Harley’s will also hold sales over into Small Business Saturday, a shopping event sponsored by American Express to promote smaller merchants. In addition to Christmas gifts, he hopes to provide a one-stop shop for all things Scotland football.
“We’ve got some things ready for the football game, car flags to carry to the game, a brand new set of hoodie sweatshirts, so we’re prepared to open at 8 o’clock on Friday morning so that they can get their ticket here, they can get their sweatshirt, their flag, and be on their way to New Bern,” said Norris.