Merchants report mixed results
Local merchants reported mixed results for after-Thanksgiving sales last weekend, with some swamped with customers and others seeing few sales.
At Bi-Mart, Manager Steve Moore found a crowd of about 35 awaiting the early opening at 5 a.m. on Black Friday. "I think they had gotten finished in Bend and Redmond," he said. "All our regular customers came in on Friday."
Special prices on ammunition drew shoppers, as well as children's toys. "What we sell is rocking horses," said Moore. "Last year, we sold about 20-25, and this year, at least 40, and Lego building blocks are always hugely popular."
Overall sales on the two days were strong, similar to last year, but the year as a whole has been good. "I can't say enough about our regular customers; we have a great customer base," he said. "We've been up about 12-15 percent since the eclipse."
Also on the south end of Madras, the Six-Shooter Salon didn't do Black Friday sales, according to Tami DuPont, but did open on Saturday.
"We did Small Business Saturday, but didn't have many people come in," she said, noting that they offered specials on gift baskets. Nevertheless, business has been good lately. "We're always really busy before the holidays," she said.
Phil's Ace Hardware's manager said that the business didn't really participate in Black Friday, since people typically seem to shop in Bend and Redmond.
New businesses BedMart and the White Buffalo Boutique haven't yet gotten a feel for what to expect, since both opened earlier this year.
Donovan Dahl, of BedMart, said that they kept their normal hours, and business was "pretty slow" on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
"On average, all our furniture had an extra $100 off," said Dahl, a sales associate at the business, formerly Ralph's Furniture and TV, which had its grand opening this month. "We're still finding the pattern."
Angie Ludi, owner of the White Buffalo Boutique, offered a 10 percent discount on every single item on Black Friday.
"It was a busy day; it was awesome," she said. "We sold bath bombs, T-shirts, tank tops. Black Friday was a good day to be open."
By comparison, Saturday's sales were lackluster. "Black Friday was like times three what we did for Shop Small Saturday," said Ludi, who is anticipating strong holiday sales. "I'm so glad we're here."
On the north end of town, Madras Auto Parts and Ag West had differing experiences.
"It was marginal — comparable to last year," said owner Cory DeJarnatt, of Madras Auto Parts. "I didn't really expect a lot of increase, because of the online shopping that was going on."
"Friday was good, but Saturday was a bit slower," he said, noting that he had sales on auto accessories, such as seat covers and LED lights. "A certain percentage is going to buy, no matter what."
Ag West Manager Jeff Evenson said that the business "did anywhere from $3,000 to $4,000 in extra sales Friday and Saturday. I would say it was a success."
Evenson opened the store when he arrived at 6:45 a.m., rather than the usual 8 a.m. "We did everything from hardware to feed and fencing," he said. "We ran a 15 percent off storewide."
"We've had a great year," he added, "probably the best year hardware has ever had here."