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Local businesses prepare for Black Friday shoppers

Published: Nov. 21, 2021 at 10:24 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - As families prepare for Thanksgiving, Alabama business owners are gearing up for Black Friday.

“We usually have a big line out front,” Soca Clothing owner Jeff Tenner said. “We do doorbuster specials. We do the whole store on sale. We do giveaways.”

Tenner said the holiday usually has the store full of shoppers, but this year he is expecting it to be even busier.

“Last year there were no parties,” Tenner said. “Nobody went to parties, so people didn’t have a reason to come get a dress, but this year there are parties and it seems to be mostly back to normal so people have a reason to shop.”

Officials with the Alabama Retail Association said you can expect more shoppers out this Black Friday compared to last year, but you likely won’t see massive crowds now because people can get deals all week.

“Sometimes people can’t get out on Black Friday or there are some people who are still concerned about getting into huge crowds, so we want to make sure we give people the opportunity to get a deal all week,” Tenner said.

With nationwide supply issues, officials said it’s important to start shopping around Black Friday if you want to have presents under the tree on time.

“Shopping now should be good and you should be able to get everything on your list,” Nancy Dennis with the Alabama Retail Association said. “But, as you get closer to that week before or week of Christmas, you may or may not find what you are looking for.”

“The idea that you are shopping on some random website and you’re going to get it, that may not happen because they may sell it to you, but they actually don’t have it in stock,” Tenner said. “When you are shopping locally and you go to a store and you take it home with you, you know you’ve got it.”

Tenner said that’s not the only reason to shop local this holiday. It’s local owners’ first Black Friday without high cases of COVID.

“I know last year, a lot of people struggled because they didn’t do as well,” he said. “All these local stores really need the money right now, because we are still suffering in a lot of ways from the pandemic. People have loans to pay back.”

The Alabama Retail Association suggests making sure you plan ahead and check to see what time each store you want to go to closes. Because of the nationwide worker shortage, stores may have limited hours this year because of less staff.

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