Shoppers Converged on Stores for Black Friday Deals

Across the Gulf Coast, shoppers were heading to stores early on Black Friday, looking for big holiday sales. Retailers in south Mississippi are expecting an increase in sales this season.

Thousands of shoppers were at the Gulfport Premium Outlets and have been since Thursday afternoon. Many stores at the Gulfport Premium Outlets opened earlier than normal, 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day and they’re staying open until 10 p.m. Friday night. There were plenty of shoppers who just couldn’t get enough. Slidell resident, Dara Franatovich, has been shopping since 6 p.m. Thursday. She says, “I have not slept since Thanksgiving morning.”

And she’s been everywhere. Franatovich also says, “Target, JCPenney, Kohls, Walmart, you name it, we’ve been there.” For the retail workers, it’s been an even longer day. Michelle Jackson, Assistant. Manager of Reebok, says, “We have hundreds of customers. I have no idea how many. It’s just been steady coming in and out.”

Shoppers were going all out, spending big bucks for the holidays. Bo Mason, another shopper, says, “Probably at least a thousand today, about 500 last night, so 1,500 so far.”

The National Retail Federation is projecting a 4% increase in retail sales nationwide this holiday season. At the Gulfport Premium Outlets, stores are expecting to bring in hundreds of thousand dollars just on Friday.

One reason for increased sales is that stores are opening earlier than ever even on Thanksgiving. Franatovich also says, “It’s kind of a bummer that we don’t get to bum rush everything and get to rush and get the deals and there’s only two items. You know, ‘That’s mine, that’s mine,’ stuff like that. We love that. Now you go and it’s leisurely and you’re not waiting in hour long lines.”

According to one shopping professional, the secret to cashing in on these Black Friday deals is to keep at it. Franatovich closes, “Don’t stop, don’t sit.”

All the stores at the Gulfport Premium Outlets will close Friday night at 10 p.m., bringing a 28 hour shopping marathon to an end.

Categories: Local News, News

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