Local merchants happy with sales numbers over weekend
By Emily Ford
SALISBURY — Several Salisbury retailers said Thanksgiving weekend sales were better than last year, giving them hope for a solid holiday season leading up to Christmas.
“It was very good on Black Friday,” said Mike Fuller, owner of Ultimate Sports Apparel at 114 S. Main St. “And we were good and steady on Saturday, all day long.”
Catering to college sports fans, Ultimate Sports Apparel rang up a 5- to 6-percent increase in sales over Black Friday 2010, Fuller said.
The day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year and can put a store “in the black.”
Nationwide, from Thanksgiving Day until Sunday, sales at stores and online grew by nearly 16 percent to $52 billion from $45 billion last year, according to estimates from the National Retail Federation.
“I’m very pleased with what we’ve done so far,” said Deon Lester, manager at Magic Mart, 725 Jake Alexander Boulevard S. “We are up from last year.”
Customers made a beeline for the electronics, including TVs and gaming systems, but board games priced at $4 each also were popular, Lester said.
“We sold every one,” he said.
Looking ahead, Lester said he is cautiously optimistic and believes consumers may have pent-up demand after forgoing shopping for several years during the Great Recession.
“I went into this season not really knowing. Some reports say people will splurge this holiday season,” he said. “I hope that continues, but we will have to see.”
Dave Loflin, owner of Thread Shed Clothing at 133 S. Main St., said he’s hopeful but conservative about the season. Sales on Black Friday and during the Thanksgiving weekend were about the same as last year, he said.
“We did very well, very nicely,” Loflin said. “I still think the Great Recession is on, but I feel satisfied that we were adequately busy for the economy.”
Sara Frick, owner of the new downtown shop, Adella Apparel, at 105 B N. Main St., had her best day yet on Black Friday. Frick opened the store in August.
“I don’t have anything to compare it to, but we did really good,” she said.
Saturday, which is Adella Apparel’s biggest day of the week, also was steady and slightly busier than usual, she said. Most people were buying tops and dresses for themselves, not as gifts.
As the countdown to Christmas ticks away, Frick said she’s optimistic.
“I’m excited about sales. I think people are going to keep coming in,” she said. “Hopefully this past weekend was just a sign of things to come.”
Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.