The days of Black Friday being a one-day event are long gone.
Chris Gifford, sales manager of Gifford TV and Electronics, said the manufacturer-driven special sale prices begin long before Friday, Nov. 23, these days.
Many sale prices begin Oct. 31, and most electronics sale prices go into effect Nov. 11 and run through Dec. 31, Gifford noted.
“Black Friday is no longer just on Black Friday. So you don’t have to wait. You can beat the crowd,” Gifford said of the store, which first opened in 1954. "There are a lot of appliance sales going on. They jump on the bandwagon even earlier.”
Gifford said some of the cheaper prices offered by big-box stores in the Metroplex, or online, are actually for inferior products.
“You’re not really getting what you think you’re getting most of the time,” said Gifford, whose dad, Kenneth, owns the store. “We take a lot of time and effort to research the products.”
Gifford said they have a lot of TVs in stock and LG electronics, as well as appliances from familiar companies such as Whirlpool, Maytag, Kitchen Aid, GenAir and Amana.
“They’re better now than they ever have been, and prices are amazing,” he said, noting that the only other time of year that can rival Black Friday for TV sales is the Super Bowl.
For Woods Furniture in Stephenville, Black Friday is always a highlight of the year.
“Black Friday is very important to us because we have so many people coming in looking for specials and there will be many of them storewide,” said Paula Prater, who along with husband Randy, owns and operates the store.
Gifford said that local stores actually offer better deals than their big-city counterparts or online outlets — in addition to the personal customer service experience. That’s because they are part of a national buying group consisting of 6,600 independent stores.
Gifford said that some people think they can “go to big-box stores and get a better deal, but they really can’t."
“We wouldn’t have been here 65 years if we weren’t able to compete with the big guys.”
Paula Prater said she and her husband support local businesses, and encourage others to do so.
“Randy and I do most of our shopping in Stephenville,” she said. “Because we support the local economy. We realize how important it is to do this because of our small business. We are all in this together.”
She said that they will take care of their customers.
“When customers come in, they know we are going to do our best to please them. We have been serving Erath County for over 50 years. We love our customers and we’ll do everything possible to keep your business here in town.”
Randy Prater added, “The service you get locally is going to be better than the service you get 75 miles away.”
Their fastest-selling items are recliners and mattresses. They also have plenty of other items for the living room, dining room and bedroom.
Woods was originally owned by Randy’s grandfather, Floyd Woods, who opened it in 1967. Randy and Paula became the owners in 2010.