Plenty of shoppers seemed grateful to find a bench and a brief break from bargain-hunting at the Buffalo Mall during Black Friday’s shop-a-thon.
Donna Mayer of Jamestown took a moment to read a book outside Home of Economy, shopping cart of presents parked right beside her.
“We shopped last night, we shopped this morning, so I need a little break,” said Mayer, who enjoys the excitement of the day and the good deals, too.
She and her daughter have gone shopping on Black Friday together for years, she said.
“Today we’ve done the whole mall here,” after having been at Wal-Mart about five hours Thanksgiving evening, she said. “… and when we’re done, we’re going to Fargo.”
Alvin Gruebele of Jamestown and Ken Frey of Bloom Township found a couple of chairs in the mall too.
“We’re waiting for our wives, more or less,” said Gruebele, who said he’d been all over the mall by late morning.
Businesses located elsewhere in Jamestown fared well on Black Friday as well.
By afternoon, Tractor Supply Co. had completely sold out of gun safes, small and large, said Brian Bertsch, store manager.
“It’s just been a steady stream (of people) all day long, so it’s been kind of nice,” said Bertsch, adding that customers included children as well as men and women across the age spectrum — and they had all been friendly, too.
Seven of his 10 employees were working Black Friday shifts.
Clothes were the best-sellers at Gun & Reel Sports Inc. Friday, as people flocked to the store to get Under Armour clothes, camouflage hunting gear, jackets, pants and shoes, said Gary Docktor, the store’s co-owner.
While Gun & Reel once opened early on Black Friday, now it maintains its regular hours and keeps the sale going for Black Friday as well as Saturday. That allows people to “come when they want to. It’s just a more relaxed atmosphere,” Docktor said.
Gun & Reel serves free coffee, cider and cookies, too, so shoppers have a more leisurely, relaxed experience.
“We’ve had a lot of people this morning. It’s been steady,” Docktor said.
Under Armour outfits were also big at another store on the other side of town — Sugar Rush Boutique, which opened at 9 a.m. Friday and lived up to its name with a rush of customers at around 11 a.m., according to owner Rhonda Lura.
“It was really busy. Actually, our scarf rack is just about empty,” said Lura, adding that fleece leggings and leg warmers had been popular as well.
Home of Economy opened at 6 a.m. Friday, but the crowd didn’t really arrive until around 7:30 a.m., said Chris Richter, the store’s assistant manager.
“It’s been a really good day,” Richter said. “We’re steady.”
Home of Economy moved to its new location in the Buffalo Mall at the end of August, and Richter said the move had definitely increased Black Friday foot traffic.
All 36 Home of Economy employees had Thanksgiving Day off, and all 36 were working Black Friday, Richter said.
Practical gifts seemed to be the order of the day there — by 10:30 a.m., the store had already sold out on jumper cables, he said. Tools, toys and ice fishing equipment were also popular.
“It’s getting to be that time of year,” said Coty Remmick, of Carrington, N.D.
He and his sons, Jaxsyn Remmick, 5, and Gavyn Anderson, 9, were checking out fish houses together at Home of Economy. While Coty and Jaxsyn tried to work out which fish houses were biggest, Gavyn stepped into one of the floor models to check out the view from inside.
Normally, Coty said, he avoids the Black Friday rush, but since they were already heading to Jamestown, he figured they’d check out the sales.
“We slept in and then we came here,” Coty added.
The AAUW Used Bookstore didn’t open until 10 a.m., but it had a steady stream of book-hunting shoppers when it did.
“We’ve got hundreds of Christmas books,” said Kelly Krein, bookstore coordinator for the American Association of University Women.
Sun reporter Kari Lucin can be reached at 701-952-8453 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org