FILE - In this Friday, Nov. 25, 2011 file photo, Emma Howe, left, looks up at her mother, Laurie Howe, as they wait in line at a Kohl's store on Black Friday in Owensboro, Ky. The official kickoff to the holiday shopping season underscored a big challenge to retailers: shoppers will only come out when they believe they're getting a big discount. Stores' own version of the Super Bowl got off to a robust start, helped by early store openings and heavy price cutting. But many analysts worry that the heavy marketing hype that pulled in the crowds will steal some thunder from the rest of the season. (AP Photo/The Messenger-Inquirer, Gary Emord-Netzley, File)
It turns out Black Friday wasn’t as depressing as its name suggests. National retailers recorded $52.4 million in sales over the Thanksgiving weekend, ending Sunday evening. It’s a 16.4 percent jump from the same period a year ago as the early hours and low-price promotions drew in shoppers willing to spend.
Many stores opened up late Thanksgiving night to try and entice shoppers to stay up late instead of camping out or getting up early for morning sales.
The Friday after Thanksgiving, dubbed Black Friday as a time when stores would turn from the red, or debt, to a positive return in its bank books, typically kicks off the Christmas shopping season as the biggest day of the year for retailers. An estimated 226 million shoppers visited stores or online websites over the weekend. Retailers are optimistic about the sales in the sluggish economy where unemployment in the nation is at 9 percent, but say it’s unclear if consumers will continue to spend through the next month or if the momentum was short lived.
Sales were also predicted to be high for Cyber Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving, where consumers shopped for deals exclusively online.
Fire overcomes Willy Jak’s
Metropolis eatery Willy Jak’s caught fire Saturday. Firefighters responded to a call Saturday morning about a grease fire that started in the restaurant’s grill area. Owners were unsure whether the building would be demolished or rebuilt.
Salvation Army, Toys for Tots gear up for busy seasons
Both the Salvation Army and Toys for Tots expect a Christmas season with lots of needs in the western Kentucky region. Red kettles appeared last week at many area businesses, and boxes for toy donations are also up. The Salvation Army anticipates helping 1,500 kids while Toys for Tots has a goal of 3,000 kids.
Teen of the Week
JoAnna Browning is the Mid-Continent University Teen of the Week. Browning, a senior at Community Christian Academy, loves school and plans to study accounting in college, although she has an interest in international affairs after taking part in a study during the Governor’s Scholars Program. Browning also played volleyball for CCA and plays first chair flute in the concert band. In May, a Teen of the Year will be chosen from the weekly winners, earning a four-year scholarship to Mid-Continent University or a $2,500 scholarship to the school of their choice.