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Stores Ready for Black Friday Rush

by on November 21, 2012 3:16 PM

It's almost here.

Another Black Friday is on the horizon and stores throughout Centre County are ready for the onslaught.

At Mike's Video, TV and Appliance, co-owner Pete Popovich said that the store has already begun its Black Friday sales but won't do anything special for that specific day.

“We're open normal hours (9 a.m. to 7 p.m.). We don't need anyone standing outside at 4 a.m.,” Popovich said with a laugh.

Although the doors won't open before the sun is up, Popovich is hopeful that those shopping for name-brand appliances this holiday season will still head to Mike's. After all, he said, there are some benefits to shopping and buying locally.

“The big thing is, by shopping at Mike's you're helping the local economy. We shop locally ourselves, so the money that gets spent here enables us to help local charities as well as the local businesses,” Popovich said.

Mike's has been a staple in State College for 28 years. The store was on North Atherton Street long before some of the other “big box” stores began cropping up.

“Our pricing is in line with Lowe's, Best Buy, all the big box stores. You're not paying more here, but you are getting better local customer service. We really care about our jobs,” Popovich said.

And while it might be tempting to get in line on Thanksgiving night to snag a 55-inch flat screen television, Popovich urges caution when buying a big ticket item, such as a television.

“If you buy a television and it breaks, you'll have to ship it back to wherever,” Popovich said. “We service everything here.”

One of the most popular items during the holiday shopping season are televisions. However, other appliances move too.

“Televisions are big. People need a present to buy and inventory is good. But we also get people coming in who say 'we've needed a new washer for years, we're just going to do it,'” he said.

Just down the street from Mike's is Plato's Closet, which sells name-brand used clothing.

As his co-workers stocked shelves with winter jackets, sweatshirts and jeans, Plato's Closet manager Justin Baker, said that he's expecting big crowds on Black Friday.

“Black Friday is one of those days that's just kind of a feeding frenzy. It's changing, though, because stores are opening on Thanksgiving. That's a bit different and something we're not used to,” Baker said.

According to Baker, Plato's Closet will adjust its hours on Black Friday.

“We're going to open at 7 a.m.,” he said.

In previous years, Plato's Closet has been busy from open to close on Black Friday. Baker doesn't expect 2012 to be any different.

“We do get the bargain hunters,” Baker said. “One of the things that people like about us is that they never know what they're going to get. The inventory changes on a daily basis. It's different every single day.”

As for Black Friday specials, Baker doesn't anticipate having any. There will be the usual discount racks, of course.

“We try to offer the lowest price,” Baker said. “Not just on Black Friday ... all year long, every day.”

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Chris Morelli is the managing editor of The Centre County Gazette.
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