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Many businesses tickled pink over Black Friday sales

Many Halifax County retailers and small businesses reported successful sales over the Thanksgiving weekend with some reporting sales exceeding previous years.


Hundreds of shoppers came out Thursday night and Friday morning in search of great deals and door buster savings offered by local merchants. Some customers stood in line for hours waiting for doors to open so they could snag their desired items.

According to a National Retail Federation survey, 247 million shoppers visited stores and websites over the Black Friday weekend, an increase from 226 million last year. 

The survey indicated the average shopper spent $423 compared to $398 last year. Total spending reached an estimated $59.1 billion, according to the survey.

Locally and nationally, Walmart had a successful Thanksgiving weekend, according to President and CEO Bill Simon.

“We had very safe and successful Black Friday events at our stores across the country and heard overwhelmingly positive feedback from our customers,” Simon said.

With sales starting as early as 8 p.m. Thursday, Walmart sold 1.8 million towels, 1.3 million televisions, 1.3 million dolls and 250,000 bikes nationwide.

Shane Markham, manager of Belk in Hupps Mill Plaza on Wilborn Avenue in South Boston, reported Belk did “extremely well” making 681 transactions in the first two hours after opening at midnight Thursday.

“We did very good, and we were very pleased to do better than expected,” Markham said.

Thanksgiving weekend sales helped to make up for money lost during the store’s Charity Day event weekend when they had to close for three hours due to a power outage, the manager said.

 Belk made 4,943 transactions over the entire Thanksgiving weekend with Rampage boots for $19.99, small electronics and men’s sweatshirts being the best selling items.

Keecha Coleman, assistant manager of Shoe Show, also located in Hupps Mill Plaza, reported increased sales over last year’s. Popular items included ladies shoes and pocketbooks.

McCollum Ferrell Famous Shoes in downtown South Boston also did well during this year’s Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, according to owner David McCollum.

“Sales were up on Friday and Saturday. Normally, Friday is not as good as Saturday, but Friday was good for us because people came from out of town to take advantage of the service selection and fit McCollum Ferrell offers,” McCollum said.

Toms, Dankso, Naot, ladies’ dress shoes and accessories were the best sellers for the weekend, McCollum said.

John Lantor at Lantor’s Clothing Store in Downtown South Boston reported successful sales during the Thanksgiving weekend also.

“We did really well. People are really looking forward to the holiday season and are in a buying and shopping mood,” Lantor said.

Cato Clothing Store located in Tri-River Plaza Shopping Center reported doing “ok,” according to the store manager who said the store didn’t do as well as last year with a $100 decrease in sales compared to last year’s Saturday sales.

Brittany Dunlap, manager of Rue 21 in the old Blockbuster location, said the store did well due to their “buy one get one half off” sale that generated many customers.

Goody’s Clothing store also had a successful Thanksgiving weekend, according to Assistant Manager Matt Lindley.

“We did really good and stayed busy. We did better than last year numberwise,” Lindley said with the store exceeding its sales goals.

People were lined up all the way to Family Dollar when they opened Thursday night, Lindley said.

Goody’s ran a special sale on tablets for $49.99, and they sold out within the first five minutes of the store opening, Lindley said. 

The junior department, children’s department and shoe department also did well, he added.

Like Goody’s, Sears appliance store on Halifax Road also had a successful weekend of sales, according to store employee Corey Jackson who reported selling more than last year. 

Jackson said tools and lawn tractors were the largest selling items.

George Hayes, owner of Tru Value Hardware store in South Boston, said while things are often slower this time of year, sales were up substantially this year.

Hayes said big selling ticket items included go-carts, ATVs and Sun Heat infrared electric heaters.

Both the Peddler’s Market Exchange and the Peddler’s Market Annex in the Town of Halifax also reported strong sales over the weekend, 20 percent ahead of last year’s, according to store owner Tom Shepherd.

Shepherd said sales this year were better than last year’s, and the best sellers at the exchange included shirts, coffee, mugs, knives, preserves, Virginian Dinner peanuts, Happy Home flavoring, jewelry and scarves.

The Annex, Shepherd said, sold more china and houseware than it did furniture but did well over all.