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PHOTOS: Black Friday Sales in Midtown

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Black Friday is known for two things: great sales and the possibility of riots over those sales. Even now videos on social media of customers battling over discounted goods have begun emerging. In strong contrast to these videos was Black Friday in Midtown. Groups of shoppers milled about in relaxed moods, often laughing, discussing what gifts would be good for whom.

I spoke with a variety of business owners, many of whom reported that the busiest period was between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. but that business had stayed relatively consistent later into the evening.

Santa's photo station at Sippees in Midtown.
Santa’s photo station at Sippees in Midtown. Photo: Ty O’Neil

Heather Dixon, owner of Happy Happy Joy Joy, explained that while Black Friday is a good boost the bigger day would be Saturday which has been labeled Small Business Saturday.

While last year Black Friday savings were restricted to just Friday, the savings this year have been extended to Saturday and Sunday. And while shopping is the main focus, businesses have added additional features for the holiday season.

Sippees, a children’s clothing store, has brought in their own Santa and set up a photo booth for customers to get a portrait with him. Junkee Clothing Exchange has also set up a photo area, and while Santa may not be on hand a plethora of costume accessories allow customers to create a very unique holiday image, and while supplies last receive a free polaroid. Recycled Records provided live music throughout the event.

One of the businesses that benefited from the Black Friday sales is also one of the newest to Midtown, Yarn Refuge. It’s been open in the Midtown district since August. Owner Pam Marshall talked about her Black Friday experience as well as being part of Midtown.

Yarn Refuge
Yarn Refuge, a newcomer to the Midtown shopping scene, saw high sales volume on Black Friday. Photo: Ty O’Neil

Sales of yarn were up for the day, but Marshall also noted that she sold half her inventory of bags, which while used for knitting are also popular among non-knitters for their quality, style, and size. Marshall said that Black Friday had brought a lot of new people to her store, but she was especially proud that her store was bringing in a new set of customers to the Midtown area. For many of the over-50 crowd that visited her shop it was the first time they’d been in the Midtown area for many years.

Some businesses did not benefit as much as others. Notably, businesses such as tattoo shops that don’t sell merchandise saw less traffic. Those I spoke with told me they had not seen an increase in business, but were quick to point out that business was in no way worse than it would be on a normal Friday.

With 36 stores participating on Black Friday shopping festivities and Saturday and Sunday still to go, Midtown might just be the most fun you have shopping this holiday season.

Ty O'Neil
Ty O'Neil
Ty O’Neil is a lifelong student of anthropology with two degrees in the arts. He is far more at home in the tear gas filled streets of war torn countries than he is relaxing at home. He has found a place at This Is Reno as a photojournalist. He hopes to someday be a conflict photojournalist covering wars and natural disasters abroad.

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