CEDAR PARK/LEANDER — Local Black Friday shoppers likely burned off several of the calories they gained over the Thanksgiving holiday as they worked like Santa Claus’ diligent elves checking off their Christmas lists store by store, weathering the cold and high in-store shopper traffic at early hours of the morning.
A line of professional and first-time Black Friday shoppers lined up in front of Academy Sports and Outdoors in the 1890 Ranch Shopping Center just before 5 a.m. Some were wrapped in warm blankets, some were still wearing their pajamas while others kept warm under several layers of clothing. The excitement of imagining the looks on their loved ones’ faces as they opened their gifts and the amount of savings gave shoppers the energy to wait for store openings despite the wait and wind.
And while store employees’ shift began during the wee hours of the morning, sales results made up for the loss of sleep.
“We are really pleased with our results and our sales outpaced last year’s,” said Elise Hasbrook, senior communications manager at Academy Sports and Outdoors. “There were a lot of key items (popular on-sale items) — heaters, lounge chairs, basketball goals, fire pits, ping pong tables, motorized ride-ons and firearms.”
But Academy Sports and Outdoors, along with Super Target and Kohl’s Department Store, were not able to release Black Friday sales numbers by press time.
A Target official said November sales will be reported today. As in previous years, top-selling items for the two-day sales in electronics at Target included the Westinghouse 40-inch LCD TV, Apple iPod and Coolpix digital camera. Other top-items included Toy Story 3 — the movie, women’s accessories and footwear, men’s apparel and WD Elements 2TB external hard drive. Customers are also reportedly increasingly choosing Target for their grocery needs.
Robert Powers and Phil Brewer, finance director and economic development director for the cities of Leander and Cedar Park, respectively, said Black Friday sales numbers for the cities are not in yet.
Individual sales tax figures by location and November sales as whole for each city will not be reported by the state comptroller until January. There is always at least a two-month lag between collection and reporting, said Powers.