Shoppers fill malls

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 24, 2007

NATCHEZ — Across the Miss-Lou, capitalism triumphed Friday as consumers woke up early to stand in lines outside retail stores for what conventional wisdom says is the biggest shopping day of the year.

Black Friday, so-named because it is the day many stores make enough of a profit that they move “into the black” on their ledgers, proved a busy day for local retailers.

Crowds assembled outside JC Penney in Natchez and at the local Wal-Marts while it was still dark, waiting for the 4 a.m. — in the case of JC Penney — opening of the doors. Wal-Mart opened at 5 a.m.

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While many of those shoppers had finished their bargain hunting and retired to homes for breakfast or headed to work by noon, the stores were still busy.

In every store in the Natchez Mall, dozens of people browsed racks, clumps of consumers gathering around certain spots in the stores, probing the merchandise and making sure their hands were still on it lest someone else think it free for the taking.

Glancing at goods in JC Penney, local Clarene Guercio said she worked nearby and thought she would just take a look around before work to do a little shopping for herself.

“I’m just looking for me some bargains,” she said.

A little further down the concourse at Stage, Debbie Parker of Fort Necessity, La., said she was camping at Natchez State Park and thought she would use the day to buy some Christmas gifts for her family.

“I just thought I’d use the opportunity to relax after the Thanksgiving get-together,” she said.

But local Gay Cross, shopping at the other end of the mall at Belk, said she had already shopped out of town earlier this week, and was just using Friday as a good reason to nose around and see what the local stores had to offer.

“If I find anything, great, but if I don’t, that’s OK, too,” she said.