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Boise retailers prepare for Black Friday

Posted at 9:35 PM, Nov 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-18 23:35:32-05

The official kick-off to the holiday shopping season is just around the corner, but early season sales and online deals have many questioning if waking up early to hit the stores on Black Friday is worth it.

According to analytics firm RetailNext, national Black Friday sales dropped 14.1 percent from 2013 to 2014 and an additional 1.6 percent from 2014 to 2015.

In Boise, Cabela's Marketing Manager Erin Taylor says her store's Black Friday sale isn't necessarily about putting the store back in the black, but it is more about enjoying the experience with customers.

"We've never really had a traditional Black Friday, just because ours is more of a celebration," Taylor says. "We do  giveaways, we do different celebrations, we do food tastings. There's usually hot cocoa or coffee. Last year we had someone camp out here for 100 hours just for the experience of doing it. We're here just to have fun."

Cabela's will be closed on Thanksgiving and will reopen at 5:00 am Friday morning.

"I think the experience is a huge part of Black Friday and why it's one of our biggest days of the year, because people like that rush of waiting in line," Taylor says.

Downtown, stores like Shift Boutique are also planning to up their game on Black Friday, just on a smaller scale.

"We're having Westward Coffee, they have a cart, so for Black Friday they're going to come in and serve coffee here," says Shift's co-owner Kelsey Miller. "We figure [our customers] will be people waking up from their nap because they went to Target at midnight and now they're on their second round of shopping."

Miller says she's also focusing on bringing out customers for an enjoyable holiday shopping experience on their special day: Small Business Saturday.

"It seems like, for downtown and for our neighbors, we are a lot of small businesses, so I think Small Business Saturday is the focus," she says. 

Miller says even though her boutique is a local retailer, she doesn't count out online customers during the holidays.

"For us, we win online, so Cyber Monday is something we're looking at and seeing how that goes," she says. 

So while the days of pushing and shoving for TVs and toys might not be in the plans for these local retailers, they're not giving up on Black Friday to celebrate the holiday shopping season.

"I think Black Friday is one of my favorite days," Taylor says.