Shoppers seeking sales seemed spry on Friday

Published 12:54 pm Saturday, November 29, 2008

By Staff
Washington’s day after Thanksgiving was very busy
Newsroom Manager
A predicted slowdown in retail sales on Black Friday in Washington did not appear to come true.
What a welcome ending for the start of the city’s Christmas shopping season.
The city’s main roads were packed with vehicles from the start of the day and into the evening, presumably from people traveling to stores to shop for Christmas.
Throughout the day, it was difficult to break into traffic for motorists attempting to merge into the traffic queues along Washington’s Main and Market streets, John Small Avenue, West 15th Street and Carolina Avenue.
Managers in most of the shops in the downtown district seemed pleased with customer volume on Friday. There were only a couple of negative comments from downtown managers.
In the commercial district bordered by Carolina Avenue and West 15th Street, managers of retail stores affirmed huge sales volumes.
Despite packed parking lots, representatives from two of these stores — Wal-Mart and Belk — would not comment on the business of their day.
However, representatives from two of the district’s other stores — Piggly Wiggly and Lowe’s — reported tremendous sales volume and were forthcoming with the spirit of their shoppers — a very holiday one.
Black Friday typically is a barometer for what the upcoming Christmas season will be like for retailers.
The upcoming four weeks before Christmas are pivotal for retailers.
Sales on Black Friday often signal the start of the sales for retailers that will determine whether they make their profits — when their financial statements go into the black — for a sales year.
Judging from the remarks of most management in Washington’s shopping districts and the existence of the high traffic count, it appears that most of Washington’s retailers should be looking forward to a strong finish.
With lagging national economic news, area retailers would be joyous over a favorable ending of the holiday season.