Black Friday shoppers in abundance in Riverton; Lander store’s anniversary drew sales seekers early

Amber Bedard and Kathleen Becerra were two shoppers who lined up outside Riverton’s Hammer Electronics Radio Shack early on Black Friday. (Ernie Over photo) 

(Fremont County, Wyo.) – Black Friday got off to an early start Thanksgiving night with several big “box” stores in the county opening for special discounts at  8 p.m. Thursday. Local merchants, however, waited to Friday morning to open early, enticing shoppers with special discounts.

Black Friday is known as the day when most retail outlets move “into the black” and produce profit for the rest of the year during the frenzied Christmas shopping season.

At Riverton’s two major retailers, the national chains of Kmart and Walmart, the stores were busy early Friday with an unusual twist. There seemed to be more cars in the parking lot at Kmart than across the street. Further south on North Federal Boulevard, About a dozen folks had lined up in front of the Hammer Electronics Radio Shack store before its opening at 8 a.m., which actually opened a bit early at 7:56 a.m.

Bradley and Bekah Branson at gift wrapping table. (EO)

Bradley and Bekah Branson at gift wrapping table. (EO)

Two shoppers who were waiting outside were Kathleen Becerra and Amber Bedard. When the doors did open they made a bee-line to the headphone section. “We were waiting for the sale on Dr. Dre Beats headphones,” Kathleen said, who was holding two of them. Amber got the smaller ear buds of the same model. With broad smiles on their faces, they headed to the checkout.

In the rear of the store, Bekah Branson, a Riverton High School Freshman, and her big brother Bradley, a senior, were staffing the RHS Key Club Gift Wrapping table. “No takers yet,” Bradley said, “but the store just opened.”

A few aisles away, Pat Newlin was pondering a purchase of an external hard drive. “Look at this,” she said, holding up a 1.5 TB hard drive. “They don’t even measure in Gigabytes anymore.” Newlin came to the early sale on the promise of 30 percent off on the hard drives. “That’s one of the reasons I’m here,” she said.

Over by the front door, Zane Debuse of Riverton was guarding a Samsung tablet that was marked down by some $200. “Waiting for a clerk to help me, that’s why I came in. I wanted a tablet,” he said.

The dozen or so shoppers waiting outside of the store when it opened quickly grew to around 40 shoppers about 30 minutes later. There were folks waiting in line for cell phones, a few browsing the TV sets, and others looking for sale items.

Meanwhile, across the county…

Shoppers looked over the knife selection.(Joshua Scheer photo)

Shoppers looked over the knife selection.(Joshua Scheer photo)

Black Friday shopping in Lander was off to a slow start this morning. Many local businesses started their Christmas shopping hours today, but traffic at the stores along Main Street were not overflowing with shoppers. One store that did have some traffic this morning is also celebrating its first year anniversary. The Second Amendment Armored Shack drew a nice crowd of shoppers (see photo).

While some businesses are holding Black Friday sales, most are gearing up for Small Business Saturday. Across Lander tomorrow, businesses will be holding specials for specific hours only and throughout the day to encourage residents to support the small businesses in town. The event is organized by the Lander Chamber of Commerce. For more details about the day’s sales, click here.
Customers at the Second Amendment Armored Shack (JS)

Customers at the Second Amendment Armored Shack (JS)


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