Businesses welcome Black Friday customers

Even though most of the stores in Vermillion didn't open at 5 a.m., it doesn't mean the effects of Black Friday were not felt.

November 26 marked what is generally considered the busiest shopping day of the year as hard-core shoppers worked off the calories they put on during Thanksgiving to find the best deals for Christmas gifts.

But Vermillion residents won't have to travel far to find deals on presents for their loved ones.More than a few local businesses are offering deals on Black Friday and throughout the weekend.

"The big box stores make a big deal out of it and start early, but we are not open at 2 a.m.," said Gloria Christopherson, the owner of Nook & Cranny and Never Never Land in downtown Vermillion. "We will have specials during the whole weekend, like we always do. So people can wake up early for their shopping and come here later."

One of the stores people woke up early to go to is Wal-Mart, which is already open 24 hours a day.

Many of the items on sale at Wal-Mart went on sale at midnight, and the first eight pages of their Black Friday ad went on sale at 5 a.m.

Plus, like always, Wal-Mart will also match ads from other stores.

Ace Hardware will also be catering to the early crowd. Ace normally opens at 7:30 a.m., but it opened on 7 a.m. on Friday.

Gregg Peters, the owner of Ace Hardware, said the store will have about 65 different items on sale.

"Typically we have the items up front that we anticipate will be more popular," he said. "The hardest part is guessing what everyone is going to buy."

One year, 50 people were outside waiting for the doors for the store to open, Peters said.

The Black Friday weekend sale ranges from tool kits to flush animal pillows, which isn't an item the store usually carries.

The Ace Hardware sales ad is good throughout the weekend, but it doesn't guarantee the product will still be there.

"I do think we have a very good ad, and a majority of it (is gone) at one o'clock on Friday," Peters said. "Once something is gone, it's gone — and we can't get it back."

Christopherson said her store is usually is steadily busy on Black Friday, but the deals actually started on Wednesday and goes through the weekend.

One of the specials at Nook & Cranny has lady handbags on sale at 50 percent off. The store will also have samples of its gourmet food available.

"We will have other specials throughout the store as well," Christopherson added.

She said there will be a wide variety of items from which to choose.

"We are a specialty store, so we don't have a lot of just one thing," she said. "That is what is so unique about us."

Not only is Nook & Cranny offer deals on items, its also offering to wrap those items for customers.

"We have a complimentary wrap on all of the purchases, which is a huge service when you think about it," Christopherson said. "All they have to do is give the gift after its wrapped."

Not all of the stores in Vermillion are offering deals for Black Friday.

Dakota PC Warehouse will be open on Black Friday, but because the stores prices are already below retail prices, there won't be any specials.

"Our pricing is very aggressive already, and putting out an ad would just be lost in the glut of ads out there," said Dakota PC Warehouse manager Rick Haught. "it's usually a pretty good day."

Haught said most of the people come to the store after they are done shopping in bigger cities.

"People stand in line and they have no one to talk to about the products and they can't find what they came for," he said. "Then they come back to Vermillion where there is someone here who can help them get what they want."

Televisions are a big-ticket item every Christmas at Dakota PC Warehouse, Haught said.

He added that GPS systems, digital cameras and computers are also items that sell well for Christmas.

Black Friday may seem like a nightmare for businesses, but Peters said it's not as bad as it sounds.

Peters wasn't at his store for Black Friday, and he said it will feel a bit different not being there.

"I enjoy seeing all the people; it's kind of fun to see them in the holiday mood," he said. "We don't get the cranky people here in Vermillion that some people complain about elsewhere."

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