It isn't officially the holiday season until hands are snatching items from shelves in a mad dash to save a buck or two. The day after Thanksgiving, otherwise known as Black Friday, is the shopping extravaganza of the year.
Folks everywhere, generally use this time to pick up most of their Christmas gifts. Others simply want to catch a good deal.
For the businesses in Cortez, this special day does not escape them. And why should it? If locals can, they should find a way to stay closer to home to do their holiday shopping.
There are more stores participating in Black Friday events than one would imagine for this small town. Other than the big chain stores, such as Walmart and Bealls, smaller businesses are doing their part to bring better deals and savings to Cortez residents.
Envy Salon and Boutique, at 209 E. Main St., will be holding Black Friday sales for the first time this year. Marsha Rule, owner of Envy, recently expanded her boutique to include the space that was Rocky Mountain One Stop.
Now, her inventory has doubled in size to accommodate clothing, shoes and accessories, jewelry and more. She is hoping her sales will bring in more customers who would rather not fight the crowds in Farmington or Durango.
“Last year, I noticed more people stayed in town to do their shopping,” Rule said. “I know I did, and with the added space I have I was able to do something more for customers. We want to keep people local.”
Rule will open at 8 a.m. Friday. She will have a large banner outside alerting passers-by to her sale and a board for the sidewalk to list them. Small businesses like Rule's are happy to take part in Black Friday deals, if it means keeping people in town.
Love On a Hanger, another small business will have a second run-in with the holiday. Last year, they stayed busy throughout the day and hope for the same response.
At the other end of the spectrum, Bealls and Walmart are used to the extreme the shopping day brings. Walmart will be executing door busters at different times this Thanksgiving. Store Manager Ron Knezek expects more people will be apt to shop at their new times of 8 and 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving day and 5 a.m. Friday morning as opposed to 10 p.m., 12 a.m. and 5 a.m. The gap between sales will allow shoppers to go home and sleep before getting back in the early morning game.
Bealls is also trying something new. This will be the first year the department store will be open on Thanksgiving day from 8 p.m. to midnight. Store Manager Jennifer Heath and her staff will be doling out hot chocolate and cookies to customers. She is expecting a very large crowd that evening as well as Friday.
“We will turn around and open the next day (Friday) at 6 a.m.,” Heath said. “Last year I got to the store at five and there was a huge crowd waiting for us to open.”
Heath thinks the amount of gifts and home décor that they received is a big draw. They have so much additional merchandise for the holidays, they had to rearrange the store to fit all the new products.
Bell ringers from the Salvation Army will be collecting donations outside, while Bealls employees inside will be taking monetary donations at the registers for the same cause and will continue that through Dec. 31.
Other businesses like Big R and IFA will be also be providing annual deals. Big R will offer its Black Friday sales at two separate times — from 5 to 7 a.m. and again from 5 to 7 p.m. — to accommodate crowds
IFA Country Stores is expecting a line of shoppers when they open at 7 a.m. and will also hand out doughnuts, coffee and hot chocolate.
“I'm expecting a larger crowd than normal,” said Steve Heath, IFA branch manager. “With Bealls and Walmart open on Thanksgiving, people have other options on Black Friday to shop.”
A few of the stores did not hire any additional help but all of their existing employees will work Friday. The extra hands and product knowledge will be handy when the customers are let out of the gate.