Black Friday Shopping in North Central Florida
You've eaten the turkey, the stuffing and the pumpkin pie. So for many, now it's time to start forming a strategy for Black Friday shopping.
Christmas shopping can be a daunting task...with so many gifts to buy and for most people this year, less money to spend.
So how are people in North Central Florida tackling the task? Well I put on my walking shoes, grabbed my wallet and hit the stores to find out.
Stay at home mom, Lauren Easterday said, "We do live an hour away, so coming to Gainesville to shop is kind of a planned event. It's not something we do on a whim. I try to avoid Black Friday."
College student Hollie Hamock said, "Because I can't go out on Black Friday, I go online and shop for the deals."
Online shopping is a growing trend and retailers are taking note...in fact, many in store sales are also online and hundreds of popular chains will offer free shipping all at once on December 17th.
People who prefer shopping from home, say it's all about convenience.
Hamock said, "I would recommend it cause they put the deals on the web and it's easier that way cause then you don't have to go to the store itself."
But there are those who are very serious about the Black Friday experience. College student Jaimil Desai has been camped outside of Best Buy in Gainesville for 2 days, and he said he wouldn't have it any other way. Desai said, "I have been shopping around for a long time now, but I have never found so good deal like no where." He also said, "If you're not doing anything over the weekend, and how it's a long weekend and how it's a long weekend. So if you really wants to have some nice, you got some nice deals and save some money. You know it's a nice way to chill out and you could get to make a lot of new friends."
No matter which approach you decide to take, there are plenty of options this year. All the major retail stores are offering major sales, for example, GAP in the Oaks Mall is offering half off of all merchandise before noon.
So how are locally owned businesses keeping up?
Bob Smith owns Home Court Sports in Gainesville and he said, "I don't try to keep up with the major retail stores, I just try to keep up with the people I think are gonna come in here. I don't think you can compete with the mall...you can't compete with Walmart! You know it's overwhelming. So what I try to do is have a niche, where people can come in here, we have some special deals for that weekend only and bring people in so they'll have an opportunity to have a relaxed shopping experience. Not where they feel pressured and over whelmed."
Other locally owned businesses have incentives for shopping too...like "The Perfect Gift" at Haile Village in Gainesville, who is providing free breakfast for shoppers tomorrow morning.
Whatever approach you decide on, it seems the only set rule is find the best deal.
Major Retail Stores in Gainesville:
Kohls at 3501 SW Archer Road will open at 3 AM.
Best Buy at 3750 SW Archer Road will open at 5 AM.
Target at 3970 SW Archer Road will open at 4 AM.
Macy's at The Oaks Mall will open at 4 AM.
JCPenny at The Oaks Mall will open at 4 AM.
Sears at The Oaks Mall will open at 4 AM.
Walmart at 3570 SW Archer Road is open 24 hours.
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