Shoppers give retailers an early gift

Chilly temperatures Friday didn’t cool Grand Valley shoppers to seeking out some hot deals around the area, local store owners said.

In fact, business seemed much more brisk than last year, they said.

“From what I’m hearing, businesses are having a great day,” said Kathy Dirks, marketing coordinator for the Grand Junction Downtown Partnership. “There’s a lot of foot traffic down the street, people are in a really good mood, and a couple of the stores I talked to say they’re actually a little busier than they normally are the day after Thanksgiving.”

Janet Brink, president of the Downtown Partnership and owner of Brink’s Fine Jewelry at 120 N. Fifth St., said traffic was slow in the morning, but picked up dramatically after noon.

As a result, her store, like several other downtown shops, were seeing a steady flow of business. “We’re not like the mall, of course, but we are seeing people enjoy the holiday and getting out,” she said. “I have been in here since 8:30 (Friday morning) and have not gotten out except for a carry-out lunch from Dolce Vita (Italian Restaurant), which was lovely. I’ve been steady all day.”

Dirks and Brinks said they expect that stream of business to continue through the weekend, assuming the weather doesn’t take a turn for the worse. The weather forecast for the valley this weekend is expected to bring clear skies and highs in the near 50 degrees today, but dip into the low 40s Sunday with some cloudiness and a slight chance of snow.

Every Sunday and Thursday through Christmas, the Downtown Partnership is hoping to attract more shoppers with free carriage rides, numerous visits from Santa and a disc jockey playing holiday tunes.

Meanwhile, shoppers at Mesa Mall began arriving early, as in 4 a.m. early. Several stores there, such as Sears, J.C. Penney and American Eagle, opened their doors during those wee hours and stayed open as late as 11 p.m.

Paul Peterson, senior property manager at the mall, said Friday’s chilly temperatures made mall shopping more favorable.

“It’s been a positive day, and traffic seems to be pretty strong,” Peterson said. “It appears to be better than last year. People are looking for value, so obviously sales are a big part of the Black Friday tradition. That’s what’s driving a lot of traffic, and other stores benefit from that. They’ve all advertised very strong sales.”

Those sales ranged from a Samsung Facinate cell phone with a two-year Verizon service at Best Buy for $1 to a Westinghouse, 40-inch LCD high-definition television at Target for $298.


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