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The countdown is on

By Staff | Nov 29, 2013

With only 26 shopping days left until the big day, many are trying to find the best deals. As the papers hit the news stands this morning, Black Friday, hordes of people will be out and about standing in lines, grabbing the last one on the shelf or shaking their heads in disbelief that their must have is already sold out.

Controversy over Black Friday spilling into Thanksgiving Thursday has been on the radar the past few weeks as more and more of the big box stores especially opened their doors on the holiday. By doing so, opponents of the holiday shopping hours say employees don’t get to spend the day with their families. However, whether it be positive or negative, the stores were expected to do a brisk business.

Locally, many take the challenge of facing crowds, traffic and early morning hours to gather for Friday’s supposed great deals.

“I am Black Friday shopping, it’s a yearly tradition with friends,” said Shepherdstown resident Jill Wilson. “But we’re not going at those crazy- early- Thanksgiving hours… we always go closer to midnight to shop in Martinsburg.”

Elizabeth Stroop says it’s a tradition for her as well as she joins her daughter and some other family members in Martinsburg and Hagerstown for the shopping specials.

In an effort to support local shopping, which is highlighted on Saturday with a “Shop Local” designation, Lisa Palmer shared, “I am going Black Friday shopping just to be with my family (daughter, sisters, and niece) but not really to purchase. I will be going to Harpers Ferry and Charles Town for local shopping on Saturday, as these are some of my favorite stores “

Still others are firm believers in staying away from the stores if at all possible on Friday.

Donna Loveless adamantly stated, “Never have. Never will. Too crazy! It’s not about money,” she continued.

Others have no choice but to be out in the mayhem because they have to work in it. When asked if she would be shopping, Dollar Tree manager Karen Ruffner said, “Are you crazy, I’m working in it I sure dont want to shop in it “

To encourage more local shopping, the Jefferson County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau (CVB) has promoted the now designated “Small Business Saturday,” the Saturday following Thanksgiving, but wants to extend the spirit of Small Business Saturday for nearly a month, with a “Shop Close” campaign that will last from Nov. 30 until Dec. 24.

Annette Gavin, CEO of the county’s CVB, said the campaign is an effort to help small local businesses especially those in Shepherdstown, Charles Town and Harpers Ferry. Shoppers will be able to take advantage of some great deals in the local market as well as enter to win some great prizes.

For more information about the Shop Close campaign, visit www.media.dhweb.com/wveastergateway/Holiday-Shopping-2013.pdf, or visit the CVB’s website, www.wveasterngateway.com.