Black Friday

by Bill Nachman - Posted on Nov 30, 2011 - 04:08 PM

Photo: Brittany Godwin set up the holiday window display at Unique Design Florist in Mathews, then waited for the Black Friday customers to arrive. Photo by Sherry Hamilton.

Brittany Godwin set up the holiday window display at Unique Design Florist in Mathews, then waited for the Black Friday customers to arrive. Photo by Sherry Hamilton.

Photo: Mary Gayle of Cobbs Creek shops for Christmas decorations on Black Friday at Cattail’s on Buckley Hall Road in Mathews. Photo by Sherry Hamilton.

Mary Gayle of Cobbs Creek shops for Christmas decorations on Black Friday at Cattail’s on Buckley Hall Road in Mathews. Photo by Sherry Hamilton.

A random check of some Gloucester and Mathews businesses during the first few days after Thanksgiving showed many experiencing increased sales over this time last year. And a number of merchants—along with a handful of customers—said there seem to be more people shopping locally this year instead of rushing to the out-of-town malls.

A sampling of shoppers found that many were planning to spend about the same as last year on holiday gifts, with most people saying they planned to pick up gifts for about a dozen family members and friends.

In Mathews, several merchants said they benefited from the Open Studio Tour last weekend, which brought locals and out-of-town guests into the community to tour and shop. A few storeowners in Gloucester and Mathews said they benefited from the recent push to support Small Business Saturday, an alternative to the rush to the big box stores and malls on the traditional "Black Friday," the major shopping day after Thanksgiving.

A recent report by the International Council of Shopping Centers said the top six holiday gifts for 2011 are gift cards, clothing, toys/games, music/CDs/DVDs, cash, and consumer electronics.