TOM VAUGHT | SUN
From left to right: Lauren Zoller, Janae Rudacille and
Jessica McWhorter were busy on Black Friday at Pink and Navy.
The day after Thanksgiving signals the start of the Christmas shopping season, and for many years, it has been known as Black Friday. Large shopping chains open early on Black Friday and in recent years, on Thanksgiving evening.
Advertising is intense and the daily newspapers toss huge papers on yards, larger than Sunday editions thanks to the shopping inserts.
Black Friday is just another day to Island businesses in most cases, but that might change soon.
Pink and Navy, the boutique on Pine Avenue, started opening an hour earlier and offering discounts at a declining rate per hour, according to storeowner Janae Rudacille.
“It has been our busiest day,” she said last Friday. “This year I put it in my ad in The Sun and we’ve been busier than ever.”
Rudacille said the Christmas shopping season is busier than normal every year.
In other cities, shops saw some business last Friday, but it was from regular shoppers and tourists looking for mementoes from their Thanksgiving holiday before leaving for home.
On Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach, that was the case at Bridge Street Bazaar, according to Melissa Ender shop manager. She pointed to families looking at souvenirs.
At The Hive, Sheree McGlade, of Auburn, Ala., was looking for souvenirs with her family. She said they preferred shopping on the Island while ignoring all the Back Friday hype.
Dorothea Hennessey was looking at outfits at Irene’s Resort Fashions.
“This is they only place I shop,” she said. “I don’t care about the sales.
I wouldn't want to be in crowds like that.” Hennessey comes from Connecticut and has a place in Harbor Isle.
At Mr. Roberts in Holmes Beach, manager Linda Clayton said they have seen a lot of Canadians and British shoppers, but they didn’t see a jump in business on Black Friday. She said they are seeing the same people vacation here, but they are staying for shorter period of time.
No matter what the bargains are in town, shoppers on the Island prefer to avoid the crowds and shop the Island in many cases.