Shoppers hit the stores Friday

Published 6:18 pm Friday, November 25, 2011

CHECKING OUT A CUSTOMER during the Black Friday sale at the Belk in Bainbridge Mall are cashiers Cindy Morris and Debbie Cheatham. Morris is holding up a faux fur vest purchased by Veronica Washington, far right, a Florida resident who had traveled for the sale.

Bainbridge experienced some Black Friday madness of its own, with shoppers lining up for sales early Friday morning.

Theresa Hall, the store manager of the Belk at the Bainbridge Mall, said several hundred people showed up when the store opened its doors at 3 a.m., an hour earlier than the previous year. Hall said she estimated about 400 people waited outside the store in the cold to get the first chance at the store’s hot deals. The first 250 people received free gift cards, while a gift card worth $1,000 was won by Joy Burrell of Bainbridge.

“We ran out of luggage quickly and lots of people bought  knee-high boots,” Hall said. “The TVs we had went fast; lots of our electronic devices were selling, too.”

BAINBRIDGE PHARMACY has a wide selection of Vera Bradley hand bags and sunglasses, some of which were on sale Friday and Saturday.

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Hall said the store was still busy throughout the day on Friday, as the post-Thanksgiving sale continued. She said Belk still has sales on sweaters, jackets, clothing and home items. Belk will be open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday.

At Walmart, a large crowd also showed up, first to take advantage of deals starting at 10 p.m., including low prices on kitchen appliances, sheets and towels. Even more people were there when the Black Friday sales kicked off at midnight, to get reduced-price electronics, including televisions, computer equipment, video games and toys.

A few in-demand items were trampolines, Power Wheels vehicles and remote-control toy trucks.

At locally-owned Bainbridge Pharmacy, which recently expanded its gift shop with the help of Evelyn Jowers, beautiful displays of on-sale items welcomed shoppers.

“We haven’t had a rush of people, but it has been steady,” owner Edward Reynolds said Friday. “I think it’s exciting because we’re offering stuff that we never have before … our product lines have improved and we have a nice selection of gifts for everyone.”

Items that were on sale Friday and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., included selected Vera Bradley bags and sunglasses; as well as specials on Christopher Radko Christmas tree ornaments, Doughmakers baking ware, Portmerion’s dinnerware and Byer’s Choice Carolers.

Bainbridge Pharmacy also has clothes, creative picture frames, Tervis tumblers, “Elf on the Shelf” books and toys for kids.

“We will be doing more sales as Christmas gets closer,” Reynolds said. “We encourage wives and young people to come in and make their wish list — we will be happy to contact your loved ones. We also gift-wrap any purchase for free.”