Large scale department stores aren’t the only retailers benefiting from the black Friday rush. Small boutiques across the state are also seeing more customers although with mixed results. Many are window shopping, but some are spending money in local stores.
Tom Widmer owns Encore Clothing and Gifts in Athens. He says Thanksgiving weekend always brings in more customers in the hours after “big box” door-buster sales:
“This morning already we opened at ten and we have 50 people in the store in the last fifty minutes. That’s unusual. During the week we wouldn’t see that. People are just in the mood. The conditions are right. Black Friday is a big sales day. People are on automatic to shop.”
Widmer says most of the extra visitors are people returning home to Athens from other parts of the state since most university students have left for the holiday. This weekend’s football game is also boosting crowds.
North of Atlanta, retail stores in Marietta are getting more visitors but fewer sales. Unlike Athens and Marietta, Savannah retailers are having a typical Friday.