Blue Ridge Black Friday: Your comprehensive guide
"Saving the brick and mortars our nation is built on."
It's the banner on the website for the "3/50 Project" ( http://www.the350project.net ).
It's a project that, according to supporter at Gladiola Girls' front woman Kristin Hall, Boone should get behind.
"Every local business should know about this," she said.
The project is about picking three local businesses and spending $50 to "save your local economy."
It starts by asking community members a question: "What three independently owned businesses would you miss if they disappeared?"
By spending $50 in locally owned independent businesses each month, $42.6 billion dollars in revenue would be generated.
"Imagine the positive impact if three-fourths of the employed population did that," the site reads.
"For every $100 spent in locally owned independent stores, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll and other expenditures."
Compare that to $43 out of $100 spent at a national chain and $0 out of $100 spent online.
It's simple math to site creator Cinda Baxter. What started as a blog just over a year ago has gone viral and become a nationwide movement.
"I hand Superman capes to small business owners, then teach them to fly," she writes.
Baxter's website identifies her as a retail consultant and professional speaker who started the project more than a year ago to encourage local businesses.
"Having spent 14 years as a successful retail store owner, I 'get it' from the inside out," she wrote.
It's a concept Hall identifies with. She hopes people will visit the site and recognize the importance of staying in Boone on Black Friday.
"Support of local businesses, it goes a long way in ensuring a vibrant downtown, which not only local people, but visitors enjoy," Hall said. "If people didn't shop locally, businesses would start to disappear, and we would lose that vital part of our attraction."
And it's never more important than Black Friday.
"Hopefully, it puts our businesses in the black," Hall said.
But a High Country Black Friday isn't just about economics. It's about the experience, Downtown Boone Development Association's Mary Baker said.
"Our streets are always bustling," she said. "You'll see a lot of friends and neighborhoods."
And they've got that cheery, Norman Rockwell-ian spirit you expect in a sleepy mountain town.
"People are surprised at how friendly all of our store owners are," she said. "They are typically in their stores when you stop by."
With a variety of stores offering everything from apparel to that perfect bottle of balsamic vinaigrette, downtown Boone is the perfect partner for holiday shopping, so come with an empty car trunk. It won't be empty for long.
To make it easy, we've got a handy, dandy guide to your downtown Black Friday Deals.
Bead Box, 585 W. King St., (828) 265-2315
Delighting crafters since 1995, it's a family owned business helping you create wearable and functional art with unique beads formed from a variety of media. Come in for jewelry supplies and inspiration. Grateful Grounds coffee shop was added in 2005 to mix caffeine into the creativity. Black Friday brings a weekend sale that lasts through Sunday where customers can buy three bead strands and get one free. A $50 purchase will earn you a free pair of earrings. Additionally, Bead Box is kicking off its holiday raffle. For every $100 you spend, you'll be entered in a raffle for a $100 gift certificate. http://www.beadboxboone.com
Fat Cats Music and Video, 965 Rivers St., (828) 265-2287
Fat Cats is an independent media store stocked with DVDs, CDs, records and books. Its specialty? The bizarre, cult and Asian cinema. Fat Cats claims to have the largest and best video library in the area and tries to promote local music. The store is also open to trades, so dust off those Janet Jackson CDs. Black Friday brings special limited edition records and a new DVD from Drive-By Truckers.
Harmon's Dixie Pride, 471 W. King St., (828) 264-6505
Like the Civil War? You came to the right place. Professional enthusiast and hobbyist Brad Harmon has turned his passion for all things Confederate into an experience that also serves as a mini-military museum. With a large selection of Civil War clothing and supplies (including a few Scarlett O'Hara dresses), you can get a family portrait that looks like it's right out of "Gone With the Wind." Also check out the onsite gun shop. For Black Friday, the store is offering a special package, buy one get one free pictures, perfect for Christmas. Call for appointments.
Open Door, 703 W. King St., (828) 355-9755.
The baby of Fran Boyette, Open Door isn't just a store. It's a global market to artisans from around the world. Come here for everything from table runners to skincare products, all with an ethnic flair that's anything but run-of-the-mill. All products are fair trade and you can shop online at http://www.theopendoorgifts.com. For Black Friday, Open Door's offering a special deal exclusive to Mountain Times readers. Mention this story and you'll get 15 percent off anything in the store.
Food and Beverage Shops
Art of Oil, 222 Howard St., (828) 355-9313
With a large assortment of vinegars and olive oils, Art of Oil is more than a one-stop specialty store. It's also an olive oil and balsamic vinegar tasting gallery, exposing your taste buds to experiences you never knew existed. Try fruit vinegars so sweet you can put them on ice cream. While you're in-store, check out the assortment of local artwork and jewelry, as well as the selection of local, handmade pasta, wine and other delights designed to pair perfectly with the vinegar of your choice. Black Friday brings a jewelry trunk show with designs by Laura Fly. It happens Friday from 12 to 6 p.m. Expect a wine tasting. http://www.theartofoil.com
Boone Drug, 617 W. King St., (828) 264-3766
Established in 1919, Boone Drug is more than a drugstore. Complete with a cafe (open for breakfast and dinner with downhome favorites), the store boasts a unique collection of gifts. It's the perfect place to run into old friends. Expect half off of Thanksgiving and fall merchandise.
Boone Rock and Roll Emporium, 641 W. King St., (828) 865-7625
Boone Rock and Roll Emporium has a unique selection of clothes for both sexes. Check out the dresses. For Black Friday, expect 50 percent off clearance on select used clothing.
Dancey's Shoes, 595 W. King St., (828) 264-8581
It's downtown's shoe store with show stopping varieties for all ages. Black Friday means 20 to 40 percent off on all shoes.
Farmer's Ski Shop, 140 S. Depot St., (828) 264-4565
Farmer's has everything you need to hit the slopes. Check out its huge selection of The North Face products. Select merchandise will be on sale for Black Friday.
Footsloggers Outfitters, 139 S. Depot St., (828) 262-5111
They've got everything you need to hit the Appalachian Trail. Check out their thermal clothing, perfect for braving the Boone chill. They've even got a climbing wall. Footsloggers has been around since 1971. Both the Boone store and the Blowing Rock location are jam-packed with deals for Black Friday.
Spend $150 or more and receive a $10 gift card. Expect 30 percent off of Native brand kayaks, 10 to 60 percent off all men's, women's and kids' footwear, 20 percent off all tents, 15 percent off all kids' clothing and 20 percent off select Mountain Hardware and North Face jackets. They're also having a buy one get the second pair half off sale on Mountain Khaki pants. Additionally, Luminox watches are on sale. At the Blowing Rock location, Mountain Hardware salesmen samples are on sale for 30 percent off. Additionally, Saturday brings "S'mores on Saturdays" to the courtyard from 1 to 5 p.m., with free s'more ingredients and a campfire.
Gladiola Girls, 549 W. King St., (828) 264-4120
It's the boutique brands you know and love along with fresh up and coming smaller design labels. Think jewelry, think apparel, and think creativity. Check out http://www.gladiolagirls.com, and don't forget to check out their very active Facebook page. The Girls are all about Black Friday, hosting Judith March Madness. The dress designer's creations will be on sale, courtesy of a coupon you can easily print out from the Gladiola Girls' Facebook page. The coupon allows customers to buy one and get the second at 25 percent off through Dec. 1. Additionally, the Wish List is back. A customer can create a Wish List and their "Santa baby" gets 15 percent off anything they purchase from the list.
Highway Robbery, 607 W. King St., (828) 264-7604
Geared toward young women, Highway Robbery has been a fixture for more than 40 years. Check out its unique assortment of items for the savvy college girl. Come Black Friday, you'll find handmade stone necklaces for 20 percent off, select summer shoes for 20 percent off and Yak Pak handbags and wallets for 20 percent off.
Indo, 641 W. King St., No. 3, (828) 264-0196
Unique's the watchword at Indo, with unique apparel perfect for the finicky one on your gift list. Indo has clearance dresses and sweaters for 50 percent off for Black Friday. Additionally, expect $10 T-shirts and selected jewelry for $2. Incense will start at $1.
Lucky Penny, 693 W. King St., (828) 264-0302
Lucky Penny describes itself as a unique boutique. It's a quirky store with jewelry and apparel as unique as its customers. Lucky Penny is having a Black Weekend sale from Friday to Nov. 28. Customers will have a chance to draw their own discount (15 to 30 percent off of their entire purchase, excluding sale items).
Mast General Store, 630 W. King St., (866) 367-6278
A downtown tradition, it's the perfect one-stop shop for families (and it's dog-friendly). An old timey candy store keeps the kids occupied, while a wide selection of warm, winter-worthy clothing can occupy your credit card. You'll also find a hefty assortment of kitchen and camping items, perfect for everything from roasting the chestnuts to making coffee by a campfire. Mast General Store is excited about its Black Friday. From 9 to 10 at the Boone store coupons will be offered for 20 percent off. The sale happens Friday and Saturday. A door buster coupon (available online) gets you 40 percent off a jacket or a coat, but it's only good from 9 to 10 a.m.
MC Adams Clothier, 171 Howard St., (828) 268-1505
This unique boutique carries exclusive fashions for ladies of all ages, including lines like Southern Proper, BCBG, Michael Kors and Testament. For Black Friday, all winter coats will be 25 percent off. Expect Debra Shepard jewelry to be 50 percent off and Black and Gold Game Day dresses 15 percent off. Additionally, Volunteer Traditions will be 15 percent off, as will Southern Proper polos. Other select dresses will be 25 percent off, and redlined clearance items are an additional 10 percent off.
Watsonatta Western World, 711 W. King St., (828) 264-4540
If you're looking for genuine western gear, you've come to the right place. Lasso some deals at a place known for attracting High Country cowpokes. Black Friday brings a coat sale to Watsonatta Western World.
Art Walk, 611 W. King St., (828) 264-9998
Art Walk boasts unique apparel, home decor, jewelry and more. It's a gallery with the work of local and regional artists, and there's always new material. Select artists will have discounts from 10 to 75 percent off for Black Friday. Expect Collegiate Pottery to be 25 percent off. Keni's Guitar Frames handmade guitars will also be 25 percent off. Check out http://www.artwalkboone.com for selection information.
The Shoppes at Farmers Hardware, 661 W. King St., (828) 264-8801
With handcrafted items and specialty gifts, Farmers Hardware has something for everyone. Think pottery, apparel, artwork and more. It's a perfect place to find a gift you won't find anywhere else. For Black Friday, Farmers Hardware is offering 30 percent off select Christmas decor, including select garden flags.
For a complete list of all the downtown fare, including restaurants and coffee shops, visit the Downtown Boone Development Association website, http://boone-nc.org.
You don't have to go off the mountain to camp out for door buster deals at national chains. Boone Mall and Tanger Outlets offer just the ticket.
The Boone Mall (1180 Blowing Rock Road) is a great place to find deals close to home, but that's not why the kids are coming. They're coming for Santa, who arrives at noon Friday for his annual residency.
Parents, in the meantime, are aiming to arrive early Friday.
Belk opens at 4 a.m. with early bird specials on clothing and small electronics until 1 p.m. Expect gift cards until supplies last.
J.C. Penney Department Store, also opening at 4 a.m., has its own share of door busters and coupon specials, notably St. John's Bay sweaters for $12.99.
Expect extended hours at many Boone Mall stores, including Waldenbooks, which is opening at 7 a.m., and expect sales throughout its retail stores, including an extra 10 percent off of any item (on sale or not) at Saslow's Jewelers.
Tanger Shoppes on the Parkway is offering:
$5 Christian Book Sale, Suite 50, (828) 295-3885. Expect 50 percent off any book or gift item Friday.
Banana Republic, Suite 9, (828) 295-0497. Opens at midnight! The entire store is 40 percent off.
Corningware Correle Revere Store, Suite 48, (828) 295-4117. Opens at midnight! Expect a lot of early bird specials until 1 p.m., including select Pyrex 18- and 19-piece sets for $29.99, 40 percent off select 30-piece Correlle sets, 12-piece Simply White and French White sets for $34.99, $39.99 8-piece Rivere cookware sets and select 16-piece Correlle sets for $19.99. Other sales last all day, including Corning Ware Simply White Value Packs for $12.99.
Designer Fragrances and Cosmetic Company, Suite 35, (828) 295-4787. Expect 30 percent off the entire store, from its midnight opening to 8 a.m.
Dressbarn, Suite 14, (828) 295-4210. Opens at midnight with a storewide buy one, get one half off sale.
Gap Outlet, Suite 57, (828) 295-6884. Opens at midnight! Expect a $10 "Fleece for the entire family" deal.
Gymboree Outlet, Suite 54, (828) 295-8741. Opens at midnight with select items at 50 percent off.
Hanesbrands, Suite 46, (828) 295-4360. Opens at midnight with 30 percent off of your $50 purchase.
Izod, Suite 60, (828) 295-4582. Opens at midnight with a storewide extra 25 percent off sale through 10 a.m.
J. Crew Factory, Suite 24, (828) 295-8404. Opens at midnight with 40 percent off clearance items until 8 a.m.
Jockey, Suite 26, (828) 295-0130. Opens at midnight with all merchandise at 40 to 50 percent off the retail price.
Kasper, Suite 12, (828) 295-0230. Opens at midnight selling one item at half price through 8 a.m.
Kitchen Collection, Suite 52, (828) 295-4920. Opens at midnight with lots of items on sale (check out http://www.kitchencollection.com for a list) including a Kitchen aid Mixer for $149.97.
Liz Claiborne New York, Suite 100, (828)-295-9495. Opens at midnight with select items on sale for as much as 80 percent off.
Nautica, Suite 62, (828) 295-3858. Nautica gets an early start, opening at 11 p.m. Thanksgiving Day with buy one get one free sales. Buy three items and get another at 20 percent off.
OshKosh B'gosh, Suite 28, (828) 295-7471. Opens at midnight with $10 sweaters and jeans. From midnight to noon take an extra 10 percent off your purchase.
PacSun, Suite 28, (828) 295-8652. From midnight to 1 p.m., PacSun is offering a 40 percent off storewide sale. Starting at 1 p.m., expect a buy one, get one half off sale on select merchandise.
Polo Ralph Lauren Factory Store, Suite 2, (828) 295-4466. Opens at midnight with a 30 percent off storewide sale.
Rack Room Shoes, Suite 6, (828) 295-3523. Opens at midnight with a buy one, get one half off sale.
Sunglass Hut, Suite 7, (828) 295-0610. Opens at midnight. If you buy a pair of sunglasses at the regular retail price, you get certain designer sunglasses for free.
Van Heusen, Suite 20, (828) 295-4209. Opens at midnight.
Vitamin World, Suite 34, (828) 295-0704. Opens at midnight with 20 percent off Vitamin World Brand products.
Additionally, a High Country staple, Walmart, is offering price-matching Black Friday. If you bring in an ad from a competing store, Walmart says it will match the price at the register, but it's only good in-store, not online at walmart.com. You'll find specials at K-Mart and the newest big box store, Michael's! They'll also be open on Thanksgiving.
Our favorite off-the-mountain deals include a 42-inch plasma TV for under $400 (at Best Buy) and a Tom Tom XL335T GPS (retail $189.99) for $79 at Target. Do your research before hitting the malls. With an expected mob scene, you'll be glad you did!
Black Friday isn't the only place to find deals that will bust your doors. Try a deal that hopes to bust your computer screen (and, at these prices, you can just buy a new computer). Cyber Monday returns, the Monday after Thanksgiving.
For tips on organizing your Cyber trek, we've assembled a list of consumer blogs and websites where we find the best deals:
Consumerist.com: With a slogan like "Shoppers bite back," it's your go-to source, not just for deals, but the latest on gripes between consumers and companies. It's a humorous guide to how to spend (and save) your money.
Dealio.com: Here you'll find coupon codes for everything from Kohl's specials to Bed, Bath and Beyond.
Dealzon.com: Here you'll find coupon codes for everything from apparel to electronics like Nintendo brand products and Sony electronics.
Dealhack.com: Insiders use DealHack to hack into savings on a wide variety of brands and products.
Buxr.com: Use this site for deals on everything from name-brand products to free samples.
Slickdeals.net: Find online coupon codes for a variety of products.
Other Coupon Websites:
Additionally, check with select retailers and plan ahead to get the best deals.
Always be careful about giving out your credit card information, and check out return policies before you make a purchase.