By Colin Foster
MIAMI COUNTY — Business was booming the last few days at big and small businesses in Miami County.
Lines started forming outside of Kohl’s Thursday evening, and customers jam-packed Walmart Supercenter all day Thursday and Friday with big-time Black Friday bargains at the stores.
Masses of people waited outside of Kohl’s starting at around 6:30 p.m. Thursday evening. The store finally opened up at 8 p.m. and stayed open until midnight the following day. Kohl’s had deals on electronics such as the new Xbox One and LED TVs, and offered deals on clothing and many other items in the store.
Walmart had customers scouring the store in the early afternoon hours of Thursday all the way through late Friday. The store offered deals on electronics and merchandise all over the store, including items like televisions, iPads, laptops, DVDs and video games, gaming consoles, children and adult clothing, bikes and toys.
Jay and Mary’s Book Center — an independently-owned store in Troy — had its big sale the weekend prior, but handed out 15 percent off coupons to customers Friday as they walked in the door. Owner Jay Vernau said the Ohio State-Michigan game may have slowed sales a little bit Saturday, but he was happy with the business they got.
“Our big sale is the weekend prior. I think everybody was watching the Ohio State-Michigan game (Saturday), so we’ve been a little slow today,” said Vernau in a phone interview Saturday. “But I thought it (the last few days) went pretty good. Last weekend we had 20 percent off everything in the store. That’s a once-a-year thing.”
Small Business Saturday may have come a day early in Troy with Hometown Holiday festivities happening Friday night. The celebration attracted masses people to downtown Troy, which resulted in a lot of business for local businesses and eateries.
Winans Fine Chocolates and Coffees, which had its Thanksgiving coffee sale last week, was one place that drew a big crowd Friday night.
“Oh my gosh, (Friday night) was very crazy,” said Winans barista Breanne Williams. “We had a line out the door for a couple straight hours, from like 6 p.m.- 8 p.m. People really like to have hot chocolate on the night of the Christmas tree lighting.”
Troy Sports Center, a business that has been in Troy for 25 years, co-owner Carol Middleton said they also got their fair share of business Friday night, while Saturday passed without much happening. Though Middleton thinks Small Business Saturday is a good idea, it’s not something a lot of places downtown really promote.
“I think it’s (Small Business Saturday) a great idea, we just didn’t really promote it at all,” Middleton said. “We did get a lot business on Friday. We were actually busier (Friday) than I thought we would be, and we had a couple people ask about (deals). I think stores probably need to run more specials that make it something worthwhile.”
Either way, the Thanksgiving weekend was a successful one for businesses big and small in Miami County.