#039;Black Friday#039; not all bad for area merchants

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 28, 2003

Virginia Brown of Ironton pushed a loaded shopping buggy through the aisles of Big Lots at 7 a.m. this morning. What's a lady such as this doing up at such an hour?

"Looking for bargains," Brown said matter-of-factly. "I get out every year." Brown and her mother, Patsy Bronson were two of literally countless shoppers who opted to forego sleeping in this Friday after Thanksgiving and get a jump start on the holiday shopping.

"We had 150 people lined up at the door when we opened at 6 this morning," co-manager J.C. Adkins said. "We had about that many yesterday." Adkins said the day after Thanksgiving - and indeed Thanksgiving day - is always hectic. But he's glad for the business.

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Kenny and Linda Plakaros, also of Ironton, were looking for Christmas decorations, and a little of everything else.

"This is the first and last time I will get up to go shopping the day after Thanksgiving," Linda Plakaros said. "This is not my thing." But hubby didn't seem to mind. "We're getting this jacket for $20!" Kenny Plakaros said. To him, the bargain was worth the extra effort.

June Bowling, of Wurtland, Ky., brought grandson Nicholas, age 1 1/2, in his jammies. As Nicholas took in the sights and sounds, Grandma took a look at the items on sale. "Most of the time I do this," Bowling said. "My daughter is out shopping, too."

Black Friday is traditionally the start of the holiday shopping season, and merchants offer deep discounts in an effort to lure consumers to shop in their stores.

While many will take advantage of the sales today, others will procrastinate, hedging their bets that there will still be good sales when they head out to shop. There is, after all, still 26 shopping days until Christmas.