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Boro stores ready for Christmas season

Annual rush expected Friday

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            Doorbuster deals, early opening hours and special sales on popular items this year are expected to draw enormous crowds Friday for what has been called the "biggest shopping day of the year" - the day after Thanksgiving.

            That day has become a tradition for hard-core shoppers who have the turkey and dressing behind them and hit the malls and stores running with charge cards in hand. The competition to get there first and grab the sale items before they disappear is what makes people get up early and stand in line for when stores open - as early as 4 a.m. in Statesboro.

            "We open at 4:30 a.m.," said Darin Jukes, manager of Goody's. "There is a lot of competition as to who's going to open first. We're extending our doorbuster sales, too."

            Doorbusters are hot items selling for ridiculously low prices - lures to get people into the stores in hopes they will buy more. Goody's has 72 doorbuster items.

            JC Penney also has a number of doorbuster items, and is extending the time the doorbuster prices are available from the time the doors open 0 at 4 a.m. - until one p.m., said men's wear supervisor Denise Fischer.

            "We expect it to be very busy," she said. During the sales "we will also have additional discounts off prices. There are a lot of good buys."

            Sales so far have been iffy, Jukes said. "It's been kind of a mixed bag. We've seen some up days and some down days. This year is going to be up in the air."

            Friday's shopping atmosphere should be a good indicator of how the holiday sales will go, but Jukes said more competition has affected sales numbers and prices.

            "The piece of the pie has gotten smaller," he said. "More retailers, more competition."

            But Fischer was more optimistic.

            "I think they're going to have a great season," she said.

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