’Tis the season: Heavy duty shopping gets underway in Gloucester

by Bill Nachman - Posted on Nov 28, 2012 - 01:52 PM

Photo: Among the post-Black Friday crowd were Aisha Askew, from left, and Rose W. Jackson, who were out shopping Tuesday afternoon at Walmart Supercenter in Gloucester.

Among the post-Black Friday crowd were Aisha Askew, from left, and Rose W. Jackson, who were out shopping Tuesday afternoon at Walmart Supercenter in Gloucester.

Merchants said that the Shop Local promotion on Saturday drew a lot of extra shoppers to the Gloucester village, while that promotion and the annual Open Studio Tour in Mathews both proved successful.

Beth Haskell, owner of Kelsick Specialty Market on Main Street, Gloucester, said that the promotion gave families the opportunity to "show off Main Street" to out-of-town relatives and friends visiting for Thanksgiving. Nancy Halstead, owner of Twice Told Tales bookstore nearby, agreed that the Shop Local promotion was a success.

Black Friday began earlier than usual in Gloucester this year, as the Walmart Supercenter started phased-in specials at 8 p.m. last Thursday. The store was open all day on Thanksgiving, manager Rick Helton said, with staff and security officers treated to a holiday dinner and then breakfast as the night specials continued.

Helton said that he is not certain if Walmart will begin its Black Friday specials even earlier next year. Last year, he said, the specials began at 10 p.m.

There were long lines awaiting certain special items, Helton said, with a special rain check handed out for one hour after a certain special began. The 8 p.m. promotion included apparel—pastels sold well—along with toys. At 10 p.m., electronics such as flat screen televisions and Blu-ray players drew a lot of attention. Then another group of special items, including firearms and tires, went on sale at 5 a.m. Friday.