Weapons, jewelry and fried chicken draw Black Friday shoppers | News
Gun sales were the top sellers on Rural King at Crossroads Mall on Black Friday. Gun safes, Folgers coffee and Tide and Arrow laundry detergents also attracted customers, assistant manager Hunter Smith reported Friday afternoon.
As of 3 p.m. Friday, Rural King had total sales of $ 133,000, but Smith said the firearms division – a year-round component of Rural King’s sales at Crossroads – was where most of the sales took place.
Rural King sold hunting rifles and handguns on both Thanksgiving and Black Friday, such as the .22-caliber Micro Bull pistol and the XD-S.
Smith said Rural King sold 67 guns on Thanksgiving and sold 30 guns on Black Friday afternoon. Most were the conceal-and-carry pistols as opposed to hunting rifles, he said.
After 64-year-old Stephen Paddock from Nevada fired over a thousand shots at a crowd of 22,000 country music fans at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas on October 1, 2017 with a legally modified semi-automatic rifle, 58 people were ultimately killed and in the deadliest massacre in modern US history, at least 413 were injured – some Rural King buyers were looking for a specific type of weapon.
The Black Friday crowd, however, had more typical buyers.
“After all this filming with the Jason Aldean concert, people say they come in to get their ARs before banning them,” Smith said. “But since then nobody has really come in and said why.
“Mainly because they see something shiny and want to buy it.”
Although the profit margin on arms sales isn’t very high, the arms division sells every other division at Rural King, a farm and housewares store, year-round, Smith said. He characterized firearms as the “staple” in business.
Much like the baby chickens and rabbits that Rural King carries, guns are also likely to attract shoppers’ attention.
“Firearms and chickens and the like are pretty much just window shopping for customers,” he said. “They see that we have live animals and they see that we have firearms and they want to see them for themselves.”
None of the Black Friday deal seekers had to be turned away because of a poor background check, Smith reported.
“They come in and fill out their form of records, and then we go in and review those records with them before we put their information in the FBI background checks,” he said. “Usually we get an answer straight away.”
There’s an occasional bump in the process when a job history or background detail needs more data, Smith said, but it’s not typical.
“Usually we get a reply back immediately and the files are checked and we have them at the door and we’re happy,” he said.
A Black Friday sale for ammunition and gun safes also proved popular with shoppers, along with Folger’s coffee and Tide and Arrow laundry detergents.
“We were actually shocked at how much laundry detergent, cat litter, and coffee were sold compared to everything,” said Smith.
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At Flat Top Arms on Eisenhower Drive, a 10 percent discount on guns attracted a nice crowd of buyers, Flat Top Arms employees reported.
Branch manager Joey Thomas at Flat Top Arms said gun sales “rose” Friday, but he saw no trend in the types of guns buyers were buying.
“We don’t sell shotguns more than handguns,” he said. “It’s across the board.
“We saw an increase in self-defense weapons, rifles and shotguns. We sold gun safes today. It was a good day.”
Thomas said the locally owned store raised nearly $ 10,000 two hours before closing on Black Friday, compared with Thanksgiving sales of $ 6,000 and Wednesday sales of nearly $ 4,000.
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At another Crossroads flagship store, JCPenney, boots, and jewelry were big Black Friday sellers.
People lined up on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday ready to shop, store manager Leslie Thompson reported.
“We were very busy,” said Thompson. “It was really stable.”
Thompson said JCPenney and several other flagship stores were open all night. Although business slowed in the early hours of the morning, the JCPenney shoppers were back up and ready to find deals by 10am on Friday.
“They buy everything. We sold a lot of boots, a lot of jewelry,” she reported. “We had necklaces, earrings, and rings for $ 20 a piece today. We sold a lot of them.”
Thompson said the shopping experience continues today with a special coupon.
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Thanksgiving might have been Turkey Day, but people definitely ate chicken on Black Friday.
Richard Jarrell, store owner at Chick-fil-A, reported that this year was a record-breaking Black Friday for his store in Galleria Plaza. He said November 2018 was generally a record month, although the early morning crowd at Chick-Fil-A on Crossroads Mall on Black Friday wasn’t as dense as Jarrell had hoped.
“The intersection for breakfast was a little slower than I’d hoped, and I attribute that to so many people who get out of the Thanksgiving evening and evening instead of getting out so early,” he explained. “You don’t travel as much at 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. as you used to, but the mall was very busy for lunch.”
At Chick-Fil-A on Galleria Plaza, it was “the greatest breakfast ever,” he said.
“I think it’s just that some of these people are now getting out on Thursday night and doing their shopping late into the night. That’s why they are getting out and they’re just more casual in the mornings than they used to be,” Jarrell said. “You go back five to ten years ago, nobody is open until 5 a.m. on Black Friday.
“Now all shopping patterns have changed.”