Shoppers try to make Black Friday turn green

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Millie Pauley of Ironton was at Big Lots at 6 a.m. this morning, looking over the selection of Fossil watches and Barbie dolls.

&#8220These dolls are $1.99 each,” she said. &#8220I'm getting these for my niece's girls.”

Her husband, Tim Pauley, sorted through a shelf of video tapes as his wife made her way through the aisles. Normally on the day after Thanksgiving, he is home at 6 a.m.

Email newsletter signup

&#8220We just got up early and came here first. We'll probably go to Wal-Mart.”

&#8220We didn't get up early just to go shopping,” Millie Pauley added as she passed her husband.

&#8220But once you're up, might as well peruse those specials.”

The Pauleys were not alone. Many stores opened their doors early this morning - in some cases hours before they usually do - to accommodate shoppers determined to get a jumpstart on their Christmas shopping.

The day after Thanksgiving traditionally signals the start of the Christmas shopping season and is usually one of the busier shopping days of the year.

Rosalie Bailey of Ironton does not normally get up so early, either, but she trudged through Big Lots with a buggy in hopes she could &#8220save some money.”

&#8220I got one of those jewelry boxes,” she said, nodding toward a display. She also had a Dora the Explorer and a Bratz doll in her buggy.

While a half a dozen shoppers passed each other in the aisles, Big Lots manager Linda Redmond, who came to the Ironton store in February, said Black Friday was actually off to a disappointing start.

&#8220In my 18-year history with this company, at every store I have ever worked at, we usually have 150 people lined up outside the door waiting to get in,” she said. &#8220There just weren't too many out this morning.”

She suspected many people were taking their shopping lists to Wal-Mart, K-Mart and the malls.

In the near future, Big Lots won't even by an option for shoppers.

Corporate officials have decided to close as many as 170 underperforming stores nationwide in an effort to bolster the company's bottom line. News that Big Lots will

soon be closing its doors is bad news to Bailey.

&#8220I hate that,” she said. &#8220This is one of the few stores Ironton has left. We all shop here.”

Shelby Miller, manager of the Dollar General store, opened the doors to her store at 8 a.m. In spite of the freezing cold, there were a couple of people waiting to get in.

&#8220This will be a big day today,” she said. &#8220We're hoping for lots of people.”