Shoppers Yes, But No Black Friday In Payson

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A tour of stores and shops in Payson on Black Friday indicated it wasn't quite the rush it was in a lot of other Arizona communities.

Black Friday traditionally takes place the day after Thanksgiving when consumers inundate stores and shopping malls in search of big discounts on the season's hottest items.

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John and Maria Hancock check out the diamond rings at Payson Jewelers the day after Thanksgiving, known as Black Friday, traditionally the busiest shopping day of the year.

Shoppers in Phoenix waited in lines for hours to be the first to get the jump on Black Friday savings, but here, in Payson, it was quite a different story in some cases.

Sheron Zevan has worked at The Payson Candle Factory for four years and said Black Friday shoppers usually begin later in the day in Rim Country.

At 10 a.m. Friday, she said a few customers had come in, but nothing out of the ordinary.

"It's usually afternoon before they start coming in on Black Friday," she said. "Last year we opened at six, but didn't get our rush until past noon, so this year we opened at our regular time of 9 a.m."

She said the store did very well last year and was was sure it would do so again this year.

Not all stores in the Payson area anticipated a slow start to Black Friday, though.

Wal-Mart, for example, anticipated an early rush and was not entirely disappointed, General Manager Quinn Cremer said.

"I would say it was very successful, I didn't see any signs of an economy slow-down like some thought there might be," Cremer said.

Spokeswoman for Wal-Mart Corporate Headquarters, Jami Arms, said Wal Mart's strategy was to get shoppers in before the traditional Black Friday.

She said Wal-Mart began offering high discounts a couple days before Black Friday.

She added, shoppers still showed up in huge numbers the day after Thanksgiving.

"I was in our stores after doors opened at 5 a.m. Friday, and customers had the Christmas shopping spirit," she said.

Arms said some of the most popular items were toys, TVs and other electronics, digital photo frames and GPS navigators.

Bruce Itule, owner of Main Street Mercantile, said he hadn't planned on having to be in Payson for Black Friday, but the unexpected plan change was beneficial.

"I hadn't planned on being here today, but I ended up having to come up to receive a shipment, so I opened the store," Itule said. "I've made a couple hundred dollars this morning already, so maybe it was a good thing."

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