Richmond retails report Black Friday sales up

By Evrod Cassimy – bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Black Friday and even Black Saturday bargains turned into big bucks for local retailers. Early results hint that our local economy could be on the rebound.

People are spending more money and local retailers notice a significant increase during this year's Black Friday holiday weekend compared to last year. That could mean good things for our local economy.

Black Friday shoppers packed the stores this past weekend, but a big push to get them to shop locally on Black Saturday appears to have worked. Results from a Retail Merchant Association, released today, show an 8-22 percent increase in local sales this year.

"I felt wonderful," said local retailer, Mary Mollen. "They were coming in because we had items and product that they wanted and we were providing them with services they can't find in some stores."

The Toy Center in Richmond, which Mollen owns, is just one of the 50 stores surveyed. Most local retailers are just glad to see people spending money again. The Toy Center was able to see a significant increase without even having to advertise any Black Friday deals. The owner believes consumer confidence is up and people just want to spend locally.

"We've got to do something to help everybody make it in this goofy world today and shopping online personally isn't my thing," said shopper, Mary Dunn.

"You're going to see it fluctuate in the next three or four weeks but if they can come into the gate with strong numbers that's only going to help the end results," said Retail Merchants Association President, Nancy Thomas.

Thomas estimates that about 54 percent of the local retailers are up this year. If this continues, those seasonal jobs could turn into full time positions which means more jobs in our area. And those surveys are still coming in but the president for the Retail Merchant's Association believes that these numbers are a good indication of how local retailers did this year.

(c) 2010. WWBT, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.