Dec 172009
Authors: Matt Minch

Despite national anxieties about the state of the economy, Fort Collins retailers said that they had not experienced a significant slump in sales on Nov. 27, commonly known as “Black Friday.”

“It was definitely a good day (for local businesses),” said David Short, the executive director of the Downtown Business Association. “I think it’s been better than everyone’s expected.”

While November 2009 was not “record breaking,” Short said, it was not the disappointment that many anticipated.

“Compared to last year, (this Black Friday) was phenomenal,” said Carey Hewitt, the owner of The Cupboard, a local kitchen supply store. In the 30 years that he has owned the store, Hewitt said he never saw a significant downturn in sales until 2008, when his sales dropped by 40 percent.

Ellen Zibell, owner of The Perennial Gardener, called her November sales “surprisingly strong.” The four-day holiday sale her store holds each year before Black Friday saw better sales this year than any other sale in the 15 years the store has been in business, she said.

However, despite the holiday boost, Zibell said her sales numbers have been down since 2008.

She and Hewitt both attributed the high number of November sales to suggestions by the media that retailers have not ordered enough goods to meet the holiday demand. Out of concern that holiday-themed products will not be available later in the season, shoppers have turned out to retailers earlier this year, they said.

Owners of both stores said they had ordered fewer of certain goods than usual, but both said they had enough.

Employees at major local retailers such as Best Buy and Wal-Mart were unwilling to divulge their stores’ sales numbers because of corporate policy.

Managers at both Sports Authority and Target were also unwilling to share specifics, but said that there had been no major change in sales numbers between this and previous years.

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