Black Friday fever has already hit Gloucester this year with more than 25 downtown shops planning to welcome next week’s day-after Thanksgiving shopping kickoff by opening at 6 a.m. with “door-buster” specials.
Susan Parent of Toodeloos!, who has spearheaded the initiative that includes shops all along Main and nearby side streets, said she even persuaded Lone Gull coffee shop to open at 5:45 a.m. on Nov. 23 — week from today — for caffeine-seeking shoppers.
Parent noted that each shop will do something different. The various shops may offer free drawings, door busters, giveaways, contests, and refreshments. Shoppers should look for the gold stars in the windows of participating shops.
“We will have tons of good cheer, family fun and great discounts,” said Parent, who first opened at 6 a.m. two years ago for a good crowd. Last year, she said, she saw a drop in early business because shoppers had noticed that nothing else was open. So this year, she’s led the early opening push — and estimated 26 shops will open their doors.
As of yesterday, the list includes: Toodeloos!, Island Art And Hobby, Jewels Of Gloucester, Pisces, Palazola’s, Premier Imports, Tiny Island Beach Glass, The Cave, The G33K Store, Common Crow, The Raven, Beth Williams Studio, Life Is Good/Harbor Goods, Local Colors, Bodin Historic Photo, Menage, Antique Store, Kids Unlimited, Mark Adrian Shoes, Stuff, Dogtown Books, Village Silversmith and The Bookstore of Gloucester.
As an example of what stores can do for Black Friday specials, Toodeloos! will offer 30 percent off everything from 6 to 8 a.m. and then 25 percent off from 8 to 10 a.m. and 20 percent off from 10 a.m. to closing.
“We’re going to have treats and drawings — and of course we will be dressed as elves from head to toe,” said Parent.
Kathy Bucholska, one of 18 artists at Local Colors on Main Street, will rise to the occasion to open the doors of the artists’ cooperative to be part of the event.