The biggest shopping day of the year is about to descend on the Kenai Peninsula and several area business are getting ready for some big sales and the stampede of shoppers to follow.
"We're going to open up at 6 a.m. and we're going to be open for 12 hours," said Mike Sweeney, of Sweeney's Clothing in Soldotna. "We'll take advantage of Black Friday."
The store is usually open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, but the Sweeney's crew opted to open early for those who want to get their shopping done, he said.
When the store opens coffees will be handed out to the early birds.
"I'll hand those out myself to the first 50 adults who come through the doors," Sweeney said.
He said there are lots of sales of outerwear at 20 percent off as well as "a lot of other bargains that are 30 to 50 percent off throughout the store."
Sweeney said he is anticipating a strong, and perhaps, busy day at the store.
"We're excited about it, we're preparing for it and we've got a lot of goods," he said. "If crazy happens we're ready for it."
Shoppers will have to wait a few more hours to get into Beemun's Variety store down the street, however.
Steve Beeson, one owner of Beemun's, said his store would be open regular hours, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday.
As a Black Friday-only offer, the store will have outdoor gear on sale in its upstairs. Downstairs Christmas items will be offered at a discount, he said.
"Normally Black Friday is a good day for us and I anticipate it to be the same," he said.
Lisa Cotler, owner of Foot Flare 'N' Wear, is hoping for big sales, as well.
"We are hoping that we are going to be hit hard this year because the economy is doing a little bit better," she said.
But her store will not have any special hours on Friday. In the past she said hardcore shoppers hit Fred Meyer early before going to Foot Flare 'N' Wear.
"I don't think we're going to open early because people are going to come here, regardless," she said.
But the store is offering a fun Black Friday promotion. With purchases, customers can pick a small present off the tree for special prizes, including $25 gift cards to be used for their next shopping trip.
Cotler said her store will have lots of stocking stuffer-type things, as well as discounts on select items for Black Friday.
Dan's TV and Appliance in Kenai is expecting a busy shopping day on Friday, even though the store is running deals throughout the week.
"You have to anticipate it no matter what," said manager Kathy Slone. "You never know."
But, unlike smaller items, the local appliance store sells bigger budget things that don't really lend themselves to impulse shopping.
"Going to Fred Meyer for a bag of socks at 4 a.m. isn't really what we do," she said. "You don't just run down and buy a $2,000 refrigerator."
Other, more specialty stores, may not be as crowded on the day after Thanksgiving.
"Typically we're not overly busy on that day," said Brian Erwin, owner of Frames and Things in Soldotna's Blazy Mall.
People are typically out trying to get those big-ticket items, like TVs, he said, and so people are not necessarily clamoring for novelties.
The art and gift store will be open its usual hours but Erwin said there will not be any specials on Friday. Instead he is waiting for next month to unveil deals.
"We have promotions for December," he said.
Fireweed Herb Garden and Gifts' co-owner Susan Jordan said her store will be having sales all weekend, and not only on Friday.
"Everybody tries to get the best deal that they can on that one day and we want to be able to offer our customers that good deal for the whole weekend so they can get as much shopping in as they need to get in," Jordan said.
The store will have specials on Alaska-made items so people can send gifts to relatives Outside, she said.
And as a special treat for shoppers or coffee drinkers, the gift store will have 99-cent latte drinks available all weekend.
"We're trying to warm people up with a good deal," she said.
Brielle Schaeffer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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