Update: Black Friday brings business to Cape RegionStores report high traffic, strong sales
Black Friday weekend came and went in the Cape Region, with busy retailers, plenty of traffic and not a single brawl over a smartphone.
Tanger Outlets in Rehoboth Beach kicked off Black Friday on Thursday with Moonlight Madness at 10 p.m. General Manager Amy Norgate said while the outlets do not yet have an official sales tally, traffic increased more than 10 percent from last year. Norgate said sales should follow suit, increasing by about the same amount.
“It went well,” she said. “Overall, everyone had a pleasant result.”
Norgate said stores were well stocked with inventory, cutting down problems with customers. She said while there were some lines, particularly for Moonlight Madness, the stores were very organized and handled the crowds by opening early or asking shoppers to line up. Norgate said preventing crowding inside the stores helped shoppers relax and improved spirits throughout the weekend.
Walmart, also on Route 1, reported its best Black Friday ever, nationwide. Spokeswoman Ashley Hardie said while the company does not break out sales figures for specific stores like the Rehoboth location, Walmart opened at 8 p.m. on Nov. 22, and has since sold a total of 1.3 million televisions, 1.3 million dolls and 250,000 bicycles. The company reported it processed 10 million register transactions in a four-hour period on Nov. 22, Thanksgiving Day.
Rehoboth's Browseabout Books hosted local authors all weekend long, with three to five authors in the store every two hours, owner Steve Crane said. Crane said the promotion helped sell 400 to 500 books by local authors alone. He said Black Friday kicks off a nonstop busy season for the store.
“We’re busy every day from here on out,” Crane said. “It’s good. I’m thankful for everything.”
Azura Clothing owner Alyssa Titus said the weekend was steady, or as she called it “a nice, busy burn.” She said while the overall numbers were on par with what the store did last year, she had more individual transactions this year. Titus said compared to last year, Azura had more people in Friday, when the store opened at 7:30 a.m., than on Saturday.
Don Petty, co-owner of Something Comfortable, said traffic was down compared to last year, but sales were still solid.
The weekend also included the annual Christmas tree lighting at the Bandstand, sponsored by Rehoboth Main Street. Executive director Annmarie Westerfield said the number of people in town far exceeded last year's crowd. Pleasant weather and return visitors who brought their friends contributed to the higher turnout, she said.
She also said store owners are very positive about this year's sales.
Lewes retailers also experienced a steady stream of shoppers over the weekend.
Josh Barr, owner of Shorebreak, said the men’s clothing store had more people in on Saturday than Black Friday, a first for him in the four years the store has been open. Barr said it was Shorebreak’s best Black Friday weekend ever, with good weather and steady foot traffic contributing to the high sales numbers.
Teresa Ford, owner of Kids Ketch, said Black Friday weekend was a record breaker for the children's-themed retailer. Although the store opened early Black Friday, business did not pick up until the afternoon. On the other hand, Saturday was busy all day, she said. Ford said for the first time, Saturday was busier than Black Friday, which she attributed to a 20 percent off sale on holiday items and people having more knowledge of Small Business Saturday.