Stores gear up for Black Friday shopping rush

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  • Gift-wrapped: Gibbons Company on Church Street is decorated for the holiday season (Photo by Akil Simmons)

    Gift-wrapped: Gibbons Company on Church Street is decorated for the holiday season (Photo by Akil Simmons)

  • Gift-wrapped: Gibbons Company on Church Street is decorated for the holiday season (Photo by Akil Simmons)

    Gift-wrapped: Gibbons Company on Church Street is decorated for the holiday season (Photo by Akil Simmons)

On your mark, get ready, shop! Bermuda’s annual Black Friday shopping event is getting larger each year, with the day becoming one of the most important on a retailer’s calendar.

Last year, thousands of shoppers lined the streets of Hamilton in the early morning hours waiting for Reid Street stores to open their doors, queues stretching all the way down Queen to Front Street and up to Church Street. Some eager shoppers lined up as early as 2am.

“Bermuda can expect the most creative and exciting Black Friday one-day-only event ever this Friday, November 23,” said Paula Clarke, chairman of the Bermuda Chamber of Commerce’s retail division. “We encourage customers to monitor the press to see what stores have to offer.”

From clothing and home goods to televisions and cell phones, retailers are gearing up for successful day. At least one Hamilton restaurant is also joining the fray.

Gibbons Company will open at 5am, offering sales all day long but the for the first four hours there will be heavy discounts on all regular merchandise in every department.

“There will be exceptional savings on toys, which will be located in the Lingerie Department for Black Friday only,” said Ms Clarke, who is also the CEO of Gibbons. “Our Home Store in the Washington Mall also opens at 5am. Gibbons Company has been wrapped in a big red bow this year, Reid Street and Church Street have never looked so festive!”

The company’s shoe stores — 9 West and Twenty 5 Reid — will also have “huge savings” on sandals, boots and shoes.

Just down the street, the Phoenix Centre, Toy Annex and Brown & Co will also open early.

“We’re anticipating Black Friday to be bigger and better than last year,” said George Grundmuller, president and CEO of the Phoenix Stores.

While he said that an advertisement in tomorrow’s Royal Gazette will outline all the specific discounts, he mentioned that the “savings will be absolutely fabulous, even better than last year”.

Mr Grundmuller added he is expecting the same amount of customer traffic and advises customers to come out early and stay late — doors will stay open until 9pm.

“We have lots of surprises across all of our stores,” he said, which include PTech this year as well as Brown & Co, the Phoenix Centre and the Toy Annex.

The stores will also feature “door buster” deals, which are heavily discounted items located near the front door.

The deals will go on all day long, though the “hottest and biggest discounts” will happen in the morning.

“We anticipate a really fun day and a really successful day for our business,” he said.

Santa will be stepping off a plane from the North Pole that afternoon and then will be arriving via fire truck at the Phoenix Centre at 7pm to take photos with children.

Over on Church Street, Daisy & Mac is getting a jump on their competitors by offering a 50 percent storewide sale, starting on Thursday at 3pm and again on Friday from 7am until 9pm.

Owner Dawn Zuill is anticipating a big sales day for both Daisy & Mac and clothing store Daisy’s on Front Street, which offers both women’s and men’s clothing.

“Black Friday has caught on and has been a big hit since the first year we had ours in 2010,” she said. “It has been our biggest sales day of the year since.”

Cell phone companies — Digicel and CellOne — aren’t spilling any details on their Black Friday deals, but both promise shoppers big discounts. They, like most other major retailers, will also be announcing their Black Friday discounts in Thursday’s Royal Gazette and on the radio.

Jeans Express on Queen Street will be offering a ten percent discount storewide with each Jeans Express coupon. Gorham’s will also have “huge sales event” on Friday, opening at 8am.

Sporting goods retailer, The Pro Shop on Reid Street will open at 6am with 30 percent discounts on all merchandise until 9.30am, and then 25 percent from then until 7pm.

All Hamilton area AS Cooper stores will open at 6am and close late at 9pm with all the specific deals also to be shared on Thursday and Friday via print, radio and social media.

“We believe that Black Friday has become a fixture in the retail calendar and will continue to evolve and gain momentum in Bermuda,” said Somers Coopers, the managing director of AS Cooper. “We will be opening at 6am in our Hamilton stores with special incentives to bring in customers early and keep them shopping throughout the day.”

Interestingly, bulk store PriceRite is using the Black Friday event to fly to the US to join millions of American shoppers buy goods on steep discount so they can pass savings on to their customers.

Hungry early morning shoppers will be happy to know that restaurants are also getting into the action, with Four Star Pizza offering $5 pizzas starting at 5am.

Four Star’s Hamilton location on Angle Street will be serving up deeply discount pizzas along with a bottle of Danzani water from 5am until 10am. The offer is limited to a 10-inch pizza with a choice of topping, including pepperoni, bacon or extra cheese, while supplies last.

Customers can also buy advance tickets for pizza at any of their four locations to make sure they reserve their pizza.

“There will be amazing deals around town and we wanted to be a part of the excitement of Black Friday and offering value to our customers,” said Belcario Thomas, project manager for the company. “We’re likely one of the few restaurants doing something like this and like to be a part of growing events like Black Friday.

“You can buy early, and eat at anytime. Moms might want to get this $13.25 off their kid’s lunch as well as college/high schoolchildren who enjoy flexi-time. Our pizzas can even be stored in a fridge or freezer and taste great when oven toasted later for dinner.”

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Published Nov 21, 2012 at 8:00 am (Updated Nov 20, 2012 at 6:51 pm)

Stores gear up for Black Friday shopping rush

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