A little bit of snow and cold rain Friday wasn’t going to stop Waterville area shoppers bent on taking advantage of sales on Black Friday, when retailers hope to push sales out of the “red” and into the “black” and turn a profit to end the year.

Shopping mall parking lots were jammed with cars in Waterville and Skowhegan, where, like everywhere else, the post-Thanksgiving sales frenzy has become a four-day shopping spree, creating spin-offs to other shopping days such as Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday.

Big box stores have started opening earlier so the most ambitious of holiday shoppers can head out right after their Thanksgiving dinner.

Just ask Danielle and Matt Lee, of Waterville, who set out shopping at midnight Thursday. Then they took a nap and then returned, credit cards in hand.

“We’ve been shopping since midnight,” Danielle Lee said Friday, shortly after 10 a.m., in front of the Big Kmart store on Elm Plaza in Waterville. “We took a little nap, but we’ve been shopping. We went all through Augusta, went home and slept a couple of hours, and now we’re doing Waterville.”

In Augusta, she said, it was Kohl’s, Old Navy, Wal-Mart and American Eagle, among others. In Waterville, it was the Super Wal-Mart and Big Kmart, she said.

“We’re getting Christmas stuff for our boys,” said. “We got ski pants today. There’s no snow yet, but they’re good deals — buy one get one free. That was a great deal. We’re very happy about that.”

“We’re going to do Cyber Monday, too,” Danielle said.

According to a survey this year by the National Retail Federation, an estimated 135.8 million Americans plan to shop over the Thanksgiving weekend and even more — 183.8 million — said they would take advantage of the online deals offered on Cyber Monday.

Wal-Mart’s Black Friday 2016 lead “doorbuster” deal was 55-inch Philips 4K UHS smart TVs, which were rolling out the door on employee trolleys, along with other big screen televisions, Friday at the Skowhegan Wal-Mart.

Silvia Turner, of Skowhegan, was one of the big screen buyers.

“This is actually for my son’s new house — a 55-inch smart TV,” Turner said. “It’s got LED, all the bells and whistles. I got an absolutely great deal. I saved at least half of what I paid — there goes another one; they’re coming out — hot item of the day.”

Turner said she paid about $300 for the TV, on sale for Black Friday. They normally cost about $600, she said.

“There’s not many left, for sure,” Turner said.

Back in Waterville on Black Friday, Megan Brooks, of Waterville, said she was taking advantage of the sale prices on Christmas decorations.

“We bought a Christmas tree and some outdoor decorations,” Brooks said, pushing a shopping cart from Big Kmart with 3-year-old son Baxter along for the ride. “I got good prices today.”

Over at the JC Penney store on Elm Plaza, clothing items also were on sale. Jeanne Norton, of Chesterville, in Franklin County, said she traveled to Waterville for a little Black Friday shopping.

“I bought all kinds of toys and clothes and luggage,” she said. “We left at 8 o’clock this morning. We’re very satisfied with what we found. So far, so good. We’re not done. I think we’re going to head over to Augusta.”

At the Waterville Super Wal-Mart, Denise Rexford, of Madison, said her husband was working in Fairfield so she decided to mosey on over to the Elm City for a little shopping.

“I got pants for my husband — on sale. The jeans were ten bucks a pair,” she said. “Good deal. If it wasn’t for me, my husband would be naked.”

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]


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