Twinsburg retailers: Black Friday busy, but not berzerk

by Conner Howard | Reporter Published:

Twinsburg -- Some communities and stores saw surging crowds Nov. 23, but Twinsburg was more or less spared the chaotic mad-dash of Black Friday shopping.

As one of the few retail stores in Twinsburg, hunting/camping merchandiser Gander Mountain saw healthy business.

"We had people waiting outside," said Gander Mountain Store Manager Tom Lee. "It started off real good, little bit of a drop, but these last few hours have just been fantastic."

Lee said that although the Black Friday crowds at his store were considerable, Thanksgiving Day saw even greater business at Gander Mountain.

"We had an incredible turnout for Thanksgiving Day," Lee said. "I'll bet maybe 100 people walked in that door at 9 a.m."

Other stores in Twinsburg drew smaller crowds Friday. Wes Rinear, a sales representative at the Sprint Store on E. Aurora Road, said his work day did not involve lines outside the door at opening. Rinear said phones and mobile accessories are normally popular gift items, but since the Sprint Store did not open Friday until 10 a.m., no crowds formed.

Lee said Black Friday shopping at Gander Mountain dropped off compared to Thanksgiving Day, but overall, his store saw a successful week.

"This year, we opened up from 9 a.m. to midnight Thanksgiving Day, which we've never done in the past," Lee said. "I think it was a huge response. It well-exceeded our budget. I'm sure it'll take a little bit away from (Friday) but when I looked at the numbers just a little bit ago, we were right on track to do exactly what we did last year, maybe a little more."

Proprietors of some smaller businesses enjoyed a greater volume of business the day following Black Friday, an unofficial holiday promoted by American Express known as Small Business Saturday.

"Friday was typical … even on the slow side," said Dave Murch, co-owner of Richner Hardware on Ravenna Road. "We had a better day on Saturday. There were people in that were maybe thinking about us first over some of the big boxes because they just had it in their minds that they needed to support small businesses."

Local shoppers said neighboring communities with more retailers available boasted more sprawling crowds of customers, but that didn't keep them from making the outing.

"We went to Aurora Farms and Brooks Brothers, and it was very busy," said Connie Kappos of Solon. "I would say there were probably 40 [people] in the store. Easily 40-50."

Kappos, who came to Gander Mountain on Black Friday to shop for a rowboat cover with her husband Dennis, said the hustle and bustle of Black Friday shopping doesn't deter her like late-night shopping does.

"I would never get up the night before, but getting up early is fine," Kappos added.

Email: choward@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9423

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