11/27/11 — The shopping spree continues

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The shopping spree continues

By Ty Johnson
Published in News on November 27, 2011 1:50 AM

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Allison Carter

Holly Steel looks at items Saturday at Just for You. She decided to go shopping Saturday to see if there were any deals. Others decided to shop the day after Black Friday because many stores were still offering discounts.

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Kim Ordiway, left, and her son, John Ordiway, were the first people in line waiting for Target in Goldsboro to open on Black Friday.

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Goldsboro Optimist Club member Jack Young uses a chainsaw to trim the end off of a Christmas tree as, in addition to holiday shopping, people began decorating on Black Friday.

It was hard to piece together when one day ended and another began for Jeremy Willman and Joann Talton during their weekend shopping marathon.

The couple were at Wal-Mart for its frenzied opening and then went and waited at Target, where Willman, 17, was eyeing a television. After an hour-and-a-half of waiting, his moment arrived.

"I ran for it," he said Saturday as he and Ms. Talton were leaving Bicycle World, their shopping adventure finally coming to an end. "I didn't go to sleep that night."

An unproductive stop at Old Navy didn't dissuade the duo, as they headed to Berkeley Mall to hit up the department stores' staggered openings.

Belk, JCPenney, Sears -- the two were unstoppable until Ms. Talton opted to go to sleep at 7 a.m. to rest up for more shopping later that day.

Willman, however, had better plans.

"I set up my TV and played on it," he said, adding he finally went to bed at 3 a.m. Saturday morning.

By Saturday afternoon, however, it was time to hit other, smaller stores, and local business owners say the Black Friday and Small Business Saturday sales were big successes.

"Business has been steady," said Mike Wiggins, owner of Bicycle World and The Outdoor Shop on East Ash Street. "We've been very busy and sales are up from last year."

Ms. Talton, 18, said she was looking for sales at the smaller stores, adding she had purchased a Mountain Hardwear jacket from Outdoor World.

Wiggins said he hoped the spike in retail sales is a sign of better things to come economically.

"It shows a lot about the economy maybe turning around," he said. "I would say that compared to year's past, things are looking up. If things continue like they are, then the 2011 shopping season could end up being a good one."

Outerwear has been driving his sales, he said, while Just For You owner Faye Ward said her store's typical draw, Vera Bradley handbags and accessories, continued to be a customer favorite.

"We had a very good day," she said of Friday's sales. "Being a small store, we didn't open up early -- we were open our normal hours from 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. and we were very pleased with sales. I felt like the day was a success."

And those smaller stores are exactly what Goldsboro needs, Wiggins said, noting that if customers don't patronize their local stores, they may soon dry up altogether.

"The shop local theme has been good because if people don't shop at local businesses, there won't be any," he said, saying large department stores and online shopping saps customers of quality service. "It's important for a town to maintain its local businesses."

But people weren't just looking for deals. They had also started decorating as the Optimist Club's tree lot was busy Friday afternoon and Saturday as customers finished shopping, club members said.