Merchants report Christmas shopping season off to a good start following Black Friday

Retailers, brick-and-mortar as well as online, breathed a collective sigh of relief on Turkey Thursday as holiday sales jump-started ahead of the also brisk Black Friday deals. The official 2017 shopping spree season saw record sales, heading full steam ahead toward Christmas.
A quick poll of local merchants indicated that sales in Forest and Scott County were off to a good start.
Rita McLaurin, Manager of Dirt Cheap in Forest, said, “Doc McStuffins is a number one toy.” They are looking for Little Tykes Trampolines also. “We are busy, busy, busy,” she added.
In Sebastopol sales were looking positive as well. According to Amber Creel, Manager at Barney and Mott’s Furniture, “Business was pretty good Friday and Saturday.” We were busy both days.
“We thought about closing,” said Mott Green, owner of the furniture store, “but we looked back at last year and saw it was good, so we only took Thursday off.” We opened Friday and it went pretty good.
Black Friday was a big day for gun sales nationwide but on the local level things were pretty much business as usual.
David Carr, Owner of D C’s Pawn Shop in Forest, said, “It’s really the big retailers that they are talking about that had those kinds of deals.” We were pretty much busy as usual on Friday. But then, he chuckled, everything at a pawn shop is on sale everyday anyway.
According to Adobe Analytics, these are the top five items this year:
Nintendo Switch
The number one bestselling item was the Nintendo Switch. Nintendo's new video game system is a hybrid console that allows players to "switch" between a home console and portable gaming experience.
Hatchimals and Hatchimals Collectibles were the second best-selling items this Black Friday. The toys are interactive creatures that your kid can teach to walk, talk, dance and play games.
PJ Masks
Toys based on "PJ Masks," a popular animated children's television series on Disney Junior, were third. The show follows three 6-year-olds who become a superhero team at night to fight crime, solve mysteries and teach valuable lessons.
This streaming service was the fourth top-selling Black Friday item this year. Chromecast is a device created by Google that allows consumers to wirelessly stream media to televisions.
Roku -- a device that streams media from the internet to a television -- was the fifth best-selling item.
Wal-Mart gift cards tied for second most-popular gift card.
An interesting note from a recent study: A couple of years ago, nearly $1 billion in gift card value went unused.