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Black Friday a good Friday for local retailers

The stores have cleared and the dust has settled on Black Friday 2007, and local retailers are pleasantly surprised with the turnout.

Data released Nov. 24 by the National Retail Federation projected that consumer foot traffic for the three-day weekend had increased 4.8 percent over last year's numbers, with more that 147 million consumers hitting retailers nationwide.

ShopperTrak RCT Corp., which calculates sales at more than 50,000 retailers, released data the same day that showed sales for the Friday after Thanksgiving totaled $10.3 billion - an 8.3 percent rise over the same day in 2006.

The national statistics mirror the local turnout in Camillus and Fairmount. Target Manager Jim Logan says that people started lining up early Friday morning for the store's 6 a.m. opening.

"The customer's started lining up at 1:30 in the morning," Logan said. "By 6 a.m. we had about 500 people in line. It took about 15 minutes for everyone to walk in single-file."

The store had requested police presence for the rush, and according to Logan no problems were reported.

"We were well over the number of customers we had expected," Logan said. "Overall it was a smooth day with no problems at all."

Store manager Ed Kish of Dick's Sporting Goods in Fairmount was also satisfied with the turnout.

"Business was great," Kish said. "Our numbers were up from last year, we had a very successful day."

Kish said that there were 20 to 30 cars in the parking lot when the store opened at 5:15 a.m., and business was steady throughout the weekend. A good turnout was also reported from Marshall's in Fairmount.

The Wal-Mart in Camillus handled over 9,500 transactions on Friday alone, about 200 more than last year.

"We had about 2,200 people in the store at 5 a.m. when we opened," said Wal-Mart Store Manager Michael Leux. "I thought it went smooth from a retail standpoint. It went very smooth compared to other years."

The Wal-Mart in Camillus is open 24 hours, but sections of the store that contained merchandise with holiday special prices were blocked-off until 5 a.m., when the sales took effect.

"The number of shoppers was about what we were expecting," Leux said. "We didn't know what the turnout would be like with the new Target opening at 6 a.m., but our numbers between 5 and 6 a.m. and 6 to 7 a.m. were actually up from last year. We appreciate the community and their patience. Every year gets more pleasant for us."

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