Finding local sales

The registers were running nonstop since opening at 5 a.m. on Friday morning at Family Farm & Home in Manistee. (Michelle Graves/News Advocate)

The registers were running nonstop since opening at 5 a.m. on Friday morning at Family Farm & Home in Manistee. (Michelle Graves/News Advocate)

Shoppers search for Black Friday deals in Manistee

MANISTEE — What once was a single day of shopping has morphed into several days of deals for shoppers, as retailers look to draw customers into their stores.

While Manistee doesn’t have a mall or a large supply of big-box stores, there was no short supply of Black Friday deals in the area this week.

Peebles in Manistee offered a VIP event by invitation-only on Tuesday night.

“We actually closed from 4-6 and set our sale. At 6 o’clock we opened and it was super busy,” said Laura Bosma, Peebles store

Peebles store manager Laura Bosma scans items for a customer on Friday at the store in Manistee. (Michelle Graves/News Advocate)

Peebles store manager Laura Bosma scans items for a customer on Friday at the store in Manistee. (Michelle Graves/News Advocate)

manager. “Those two hours seemed to be our busiest of the year.”

Sales continued into Thanksgiving day when the store offered a deep discount for its mega doorbuster item — a 50-inch RCA TV. The store, which was open from 2 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Thursday, also offered a raffle, scratch offs and other giveaways.

“We had those two hours (on Tuesday) and then (Thursday), the two hours that we opened from 2-4, those were super busy,” said Bosma. “It’s more of that mad rush (on Thanksgiving), and get in and get those bargains because we had those specials going on and those scratch offs and those things they could win. (Friday) we also had some coupons we gave away too, but Thursday is a bigger selling day for us.”

Manistee’s Meijer had an ad specific for Thursday and Friday with a special one for Saturday with Santa Bucks, allowing customers to make their own deal, said store director Ken Babcock.

“Today, for Black Friday, we had a lot of big deals, specifically around toys. We had a lot of toys 50 percent off,” he said. “Soft-lines as well, pretty much everything in soft-lines (with some exceptions) are buy one get one 50 percent off, that’s even sports apparel. So real good deals there. Shoes are buy one get one for a dollar. Those are the big ones.”

Electronics, like TVs and video game systems, were hot sellers as well, said Babcock.

Many toys were half off on Black Friday at Meijer in Manistee. (Michelle Graves/News Advocate)

Many toys were half off on Black Friday at Meijer in Manistee. (Michelle Graves/News Advocate)

Family Farm & Home was not open on Thanksgiving day to allow employees to celebrate the holiday with their families. However, dozens of people were lined up waiting for the store to open at 5 a.m. on Friday.

“We have generators, 7500 watt, that can run an entire house; we have a 62-inch work center and we have safes — 32-gun safes (are some of our big deals),” said store manager Rob Woodruff. “Our registers have not slowed at all — nonstop today.”

Babcock said that Meijer’s crowds looked to be similar to last year.

“We had a real good crowd yesterday morning, mostly for a 48-inch TV and some of the gaming systems, and this morning a little bit for televisions and a laptop computer,” he said. “Each year (since we’ve opened) we’ve seen growth. I think people knowing the store is here and people seeing what we do for the Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales helps, so every year we’ve seen an increase in traffic and sales.”

Mild weather also can be a factor in sales.

“The crowds have been happy people. The weather helped a lot too this year, it helped especially (Thursday),” said Bosma. “I think today will be a little slower, people will trickle in most of the day but they’ll go out of town because it is nice out. We will have a good day (Friday) too, it will be a big day like (Thursday), but it will be spread out more. You don’t have that mad rush like Thursday.”

Bosma said she’s glad when people shop in the area.

“We’re just happy to have people come see us and not go out of town and shop local,” she said. “We really appreciate people who do that. I’m finding that more and more people are doing that.”

Today, many small businesses in Manistee, Onekama and other towns in the county will be offering special deals as part of Small Business Saturday.

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Posted by Michelle Graves

Michelle is the managing editor of the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach her at (231) 398-3106 or mgraves@pioneergroup.com.

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