As she and her staff took inventory and restocked merchandise Monday, Diane Bunker, owner of the Tyler women’s and children’s store Spinout, said she’s expecting this year’s Black Friday shopping to be much bigger than previous years.
Last year’s Black Friday was OK, but she thinks this year’s going to top 2020 by leaps and bounds.
“I think it’s going to be stronger than it has been in the past (and it) seems like people are trying to buy local and stay local in their buying habits,” Bunker said. “I’ve seen just a huge resurgence and they like to feel (the clothes) and touch it, and of course, the clothing, they like to be able to try it on and that way they’re not sending things back.”
She’s owned the store for 35 years, and in preparation for Friday, she and the employees are restocking to prepare for the incoming holiday demand.
“We took the advice of our reps that sell us our products, and they said buy early and buy a lot because once you really need it it’s not going to be there,” she said. “Right now, the store is very full; we’re ready for them to come and purchase.”
Her advice for shoppers when looking for a gift is “if you see it, you’d better get it then.”
“Just kind of have it slipped in a hidden closet or something like that, but at least you’ll have it because we’re not going to be able to get it before Christmas,” she said.
At Broadway Square Mall in Tyler, the doors will open at 6 a.m. Friday and close at 9 p.m., said Candace Foster, the mall’s director of marketing and business development.
Some stores will have differing hours, such as J.C. Penney, which is opening at 5 a.m. Shoppers should check with each store to find exact opening and closing times, Foster said.
“We’re expecting full parking lots, and we’re expecting a lot of families and shoppers to come and take care of most of their holiday shopping with all the deals that are rolling out for Black Friday,” Foster said, adding that the earlier people shop, the better. “You’ll have a better selection of sizes and colors and the deals that you’re looking for the earlier you come.”
Foster said all the mall stores are prepared ahead of Black Friday, and she encouraged people to come prepared for shopping and safety.
“Make sure you have a list of all the stores that you want to hit and all the people you need to buy for,” Foster said. “Be sure to take your belongings with you like your purse; keep everything locked up and keep your belongings (the stuff you purchased out of sight). Put them in your trunk and make sure they’re not in plain sight in your vehicle.”
Mall security will be patrolling, and the mall leaders also partner with Tyler Police Department during the holiday season, Foster said.
Bunker said at Spinout they appreciate customers that support local merchants.
“I really think since we were closed (last year) and they couldn’t shop locally that all of the sudden they’re like, ‘I want to make sure that they stay open and don’t close because we aren’t supporting them,’” Bunker said. “Shopping local has really been emphasized over the last 18 months and we appreciate it.”
Spinout, 7266 Old Jacksonville Highway, will maintain its regular hours on Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Bunker said she recognizes the true bargain shoppers are going to be standing in line at Best Buy or Walmart in the early morning.
“By the time they get here, they’re still in the groups of women that have gotten up doing it together as a family or friends, but they’re kind of ready for a slowdown or slower pace,” Bunker said. “They’re out in those lines and then they come and they’re ready to slow and shop.”