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’Tis the season: Heavy duty shopping gets underway 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 spe...

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