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Business gear up for big sales

Business has been slow for many stores in Chilton County and across the country, but many store owners are hoping the Christmas season will help bail out their bottom line this quarter.

The Christmas season officially begins tomorrow with the unofficial holiday designated Black Friday by many business officials. The day after Thanksgiving usually offers shoppers many discounts to help kick off the busiest sales time of the year.

Bennett’s Department Store in Clanton is one of those stores offering sales of at least 25 percent this weekend. Some items are marked down to as much as 50 percent off.

Store manger Larry Culpepper said business has slowed due to the economy in the last few weeks, but he hopes the Christmas season will help the store meet its budget.

“We hope our traffic picks up during the holidays beginning with this weekend,” he said.

The quarter from October to December is usually Bennett’s busiest period of the year as it makes up a larger percentage of sales than any other quarter the whole year.

Culpepper said there are no plans to extend regular business hours Friday for Black Friday.

“We expect to see steady traffic all day Friday,” he said. “We aren’t as busy as some stores [on Black Friday], but we hope to have a big weekend to help get the Christmas season started well.”