Black Friday, rosy outlook

If Black Friday is used as a measuring stick, local retailers will either meet or outdistance last year’s sales totals, according to reports from several stores.

Stores reported plenty of customers taking advantage of special deals on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving which is largely viewed was the kickoff to the holiday shopping season. Some reported normal traffic at minimum, while others thought shopping activity was up.

“We have had normal traffic with no spikes and no lows,” said a representative at Lowe’s.

The man answered the phone when a manager was asked for but said he could not release his name without corporate approval.

The man said a vast array of items have been going out of the store, with no single item dominating the sale. Popular items on sales included cordless drills, a learning thermostat, a Shop-Vac and a power screwdriver set.

J.P Metz reported that Dad’s Toy Shop in downtown Wapakoneta was experiencing “the busiest Black Friday that we have seen.”

At 1 p.m. Friday, the store was still packed with customers looking over merchandise and waiting for an available worker to answer questions. Remote control vehicles of all types seemed to be the hot item at the store.

At Wal-Mart, a wide variety of items attracted huge crowds as early as 8 p.m. Thursday night.

Xbox 360 and PS3 gaming systems  were available at 8 p.m. among other items at 8 p.m., and other items such as televisions laptop computers and movies were going like hotcakes.

“Today is going great,” said Julie, a manager at Wal-Mart, who would not give her last name. “Last night we were really busy. We still have a lot of sale items left.”

The sales on Thanksgiving Day, which included some items at 8 p.m. and electronics at 10 p.m., jammed the aisles with people waiting for sales to begin. The parking lot overflowed with vehicles, many parking at a nearby laundry mat and car wash, with others parking across Bellefontaine Street.

She reported a lot of the bigger items were still available, including a large selections of televisions being offered at a greatly reduced price.

Despite the hectic shopping, no violence has appeared to have broken out in the aisle ways. An officer at the Wapakoneta Police Department reported no requests for service from the department as of 2 p.m. Friday.