Thousands of Georgians wrapped up their Thanksgiving meal and then hit the stores as Black Friday bled into Thursday evening this year. Shoppers lined up well before 6 p.m. Thursday at the Mount Berry Square Mall in Rome for deals on footwear, more than two hours before retailers opened their doors.
Susan’s boss gathered the team and took them to a long lunch. Then they stopped a nearby fashion accessories store to do a little shopping. All of this happened during the workday. Susan feels guilty about shopping during work and is uncomfortable with the time away from the office. Workplace expert Brandon Smith says the problem isn’t so much the outing as the boss’s failure to explain its purpose.
As you begin your holiday shopping—perhaps Thanksgiving night or Black Friday—you can expect to find some great deals this year. Retailers are fighting harder to get customers and that means more sales. Kyle Jackson, Georgia State Director of the National Federation of Independent Business, says retailers started their holiday promotions early to compensate, and more small businesses are using social media to reach customers.
Savannah officials hope to lure more holiday shoppers downtown by offering free parking until after Christmas. The city is offering up to three hours of free parking at its five garages in the downtown historic district every Thursday and Friday. The deal lasts through Dec. 28.
Early holiday sales forecasts look positive for the nation’s stores, with the National Retail Federation predicting 4 percent growth. Georgia retailers expect even healthier growth in the final months of the year.
Black Friday’s morning rush was busy but largely uneventful in Georgia. The parking lots at Georgia’s largest mall, the Mall of Georgia in Buford, were packed by 3 a.m. Meanwhile, some small businesses are hoping shoppers save money to spend at their stores on what is being called Small Business Saturday.
The traditional Black Friday holiday shopping rush is off-and-running in many parts of the state. Many department stores and so-called “big box” retailers already have their doors open to shoppers, with some unlocking their doors at 4 a.m.