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Black Friday shoppers fill downtown shops, businesses

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Although the streets beneath the gloomy cloud-covered sky were spotted with crunchy, slick snow, shoppers packed the sidewalks along downtown Carroll as they glided swiftly through crowds and around long lines during their Black Friday shopping expedition.

During Black Friday — and Thursday — at JCPenney on North Adams Street, air fryers sold out within hours, and the flow of customers remained pretty much constant from Thursday night into Friday.

“It was very nice,” said Shaloh Ridgley, operations associate at JCPenney. “It went really smoothly, and we sold out of our air fryers, which was the first thing, actually.”

The air fryers were $7.99 after a $20 mail-in rebate, and other popular items included toaster ovens, griddles and slow cookers, Ridgley said.

“The small appliances have been doing really great,” she said. “We’ve been very busy and steady.”

Down the street at Toploft Clothing, Steph Hackfort, the store owner, said there wasn’t just one particular popular item for the day — everything was selling.

“A lot of everything,” she said. “We’ve done a lot of full outfits, to accessories — not one specific thing. We’ve been really busy. We opened at 8 a.m. and have been busy since then.”

Hackfort, who had deals again for Small Business Saturday and online for Cyber Monday, said she loved all of the local support her business received during Black Friday.

“I appreciate all of the local shoppers coming out to support the local businesses,” she said. “It’s been nice to see.”

Next door at We the Dreamerz boutique, store manager Jade Dirks said she didn’t have quite the same luck as some of the neighboring shops.

“This morning started out pretty busy,” she said. “It’s not what it was last year. It’s not as busy as it was last year. November is usually a lot busier for me, but it’s been a little slower moving this month.”

Mark Nepple, the store manager of Bomgaars, said his store was busy days before Black Friday due to the snow and cold weather. By the time Black Friday hit, it already was ahead on sales.

We had a record year,” he said. “I do think maybe we capitalized on the unfavorable weather — it keeps people local, and we appreciate people shopping local.”

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