By Phyllis Zorn, Staff Writer
Enid News & Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
Holiday shoppers were out in droves around Enid on Friday, the traditional first day of the Christmas shopping season.
Kelly Goodwin, manager of Oakwood Mall, said the stores and the hallways of the mall were packed all day Friday with customers hitting the sales.
“Things are very, very busy,” Goodwin said. “We have very many shoppers at the mall.”
Goodwin noted Sears was open all night Thursday to Friday. Several stores threw open the doors at 5 a.m. Friday and several others at 6 a.m.
“It has been a wild Black Friday,” Goodwin said. “The crowd is much bigger than last year.”
Goodwin said electronics and clothing seem to be popular items.
“It’s different than a few years ago,” Goodwin said. “People seem to have the cash, and they are using it to provide for the families.”
Goodwin said traffic was heavy on the streets of Enid as well.
“The traffic on Owen K. Garriott was unbelievable,” Goodwin said. “What’s normally a five-minute drive takes 20 minutes. It seems to be very, very busy around town.”
Also popular were photos with Santa in the center court next to the children’s train, Goodwin said. Photos will be available through Dec. 24 and cost $15.
Shoppers also were seeking treasures in downtown Enid on Friday. Bell Jewelers hadn’t planned on opening early on Friday morning, but the sight of customers starting to line up outside the door prompted the store to let them inside early, said owner Bob Clemens.
“We have some savings for them, for Christmas and the holidays,” Clemens said.
Clemens said Friday afternoon the store had a steady stream of customers up until noon, then traffic slowed down a bit for about an hour before picking back up.
“It was kind of amazing right up until noon, the number of people we had here,” Clemens said.
He was looking forward to Friday evening’s Enid Lights Up the Plains celebration, when Bell Jewelers hosts an evening reception and customers can watch the fireworks downtown.
Across the Square from the jewelry store, Errol Wofford, co-owner of Soapweeds and Cactus, said the store had a steady flow of customers throughout the day Friday.
“We actually had a bigger day Wednesday,” Wofford said. “I’m just amazed at the people (coming) in.”
Wofford was looking forward to Enid Lights Up the Plains as well. Every year, the store gets between 200 and 300 visitors during the event. The biggest net sales from the event come later, after word of mouth reaches customers’ friends and relatives out of town and they come to shop, Wofford said.
“Our major sales come about a week later,” Wofford noted.
Soapweeds and Cactus unveiled a new store expansion in the downstairs of the building Friday.
“The corrugated tin ceiling came from the old armory, and the walls are repurposed picket fence,” Wofford said.
An employee of Jumbo Foods said business had been steady all day Friday with customers picking up items to augment Thanksgiving leftovers. The Christmas food shopping will hit again at about Dec. 1, he said.