From the daily archives: Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Black Friday Remains Big Event For Local Consumers

By Chris Furguson

over 400 Shoppers wait in line in front of the Aeropostale store at the Imperial Valley Mall on “Black Friday” November 27, 2009.  Some shoppers waited hours to have the first chance at many of the Mall’s midnight opening deals and bargains.  Chris Furguson Photo.

over 400 Shoppers wait in line in front of the Aeropostale store at the Imperial Valley Mall on “Black Friday” November 27, 2009. Some shoppers waited hours to have the first chance at many of the Mall’s midnight opening deals and bargains. Chris Furguson Photo.

Similar to scenes across the country, thousands of shoppers burned the midnight oil at a special Black Friday event at the Imperial Valley Mall on November 27.
Hundreds were in line for stores like Aeropostale, the Disney Store, Forever 21 and Anchor Blue, although many weren’t searching for gifts beyond the immediate family.
“I’m just here for me and my kids,” said one customer in the over 400 person line at Aeropostale.  “I’m not thinking about shopping for anyone else right now.
A similar sentiment was expressed by Sije Vargas, a 17-year old from El Centro who waited in line at Forever 21.
“I’m only getting stuff for myself.  Jeans, t-shirts, sweaters.  I just hope there’s some good stuff when I get inside.”
While the Imperial Valley Mall was closed on Thursday, the doors were opened early for
While the major anchor chains, like JC Penney, Sears Dillard’s and Macy’s were closed until 5am, most of the smaller retail outlets were open at midnight.
Around the country, more people were shopping, but spending less than in previous years.  Additionally, shoppers were focused on advertised items rather than gifts for family.  The mixed reaction partially contributed to a dip in the national stock exchanges.
At local department stores, locations were packed but no  incidents of violence and rowdiness were reported.
Security at such locations were on high alert due to the death of a temporary Wal-Mart employee in New York state last year.
While sales were lackluster on Friday for some locations, many received a much needed boost on Saturday.
Online sales jumped as well, with an increase to $595 million on Black Friday alone.  Visits to rose 28% from last year while the number of hits on went up by 22%.  Cyber Monday.
Black Friday is known as the day where brick-and-mortar stores begin to turn a profit, or “go into the black.”
Cyber Monday is known as the day when shoppers, fresh off the holidays, come to work and use their office’s faster internet connnection to do their holiday shopping.


Seasonal Flu Clinic Will Be Held At Health Dept.

The Public Health Department will be hosting one last SEASONAL Flu Vaccination Clinic this month.  The clinic will take place next week on Tuesday, December 8th from 8:30 am – 4pm at the Public Health Department Training Center located at 935 Broadway in El Centro.  People considered high risk for seasonal flu will be eligible to receive the vaccine.  The cost for the flu shot is $2.
Please Note:  This clinic will not be offering the H1N1 vaccine, only the seasonal flu shot.
For more information contact María Peinado, Public Health Information Officer at Imperial County Public Health Department, 935 Broadway, El Centro, CA 92243
Tel:  (760) 482-4461 Fax: ( 760)  352-9933


By Chris Furguson
This weekend begins the local driDSCF6317ve towards the holiday season with several events to promote the holiday spirit and bring attention to local vendors and businesses.
On Friday, December 4,  Calexico will have their annual “Tree Lighting Ceremony” at City Hall.  Public is welcome and the event begins at 4 pm.
Saturday, December 5, will see the annual El Centro Christmas Parade.  With the theme of  “Home for the Holidays,” dozens of floats, bands and groups will head south on 8th Street in El Centro from Adams to Aurora.
Booths alongside the street and at Bucklin Park will also add to the city’s event.
This year will mark the 64th annual Christmas parade in El Centro, which will have returning champion Central Spartans carrying the Victory Bell down the street along with guest of honor Santa Claus.
In Brawley, on Sunday, December 6, Santa Claus will be the final guest at the 2009 Christmas on Main.  This year, like previous years, the annual event will feature Christmas Carols from Noteworthy as well as free hot chocolate, a cookie decoration station and free coloring times.
Free gifts from Santa and picture opportunities will also be provided for kids in addition to a proposed tobaggan run, an upgrade from last year’s snowball field.
The program is slated to begin at 4 pm and continue until 6, with the appearance of Santa.  The event is free to the public.
December 12 will have a pair of events going on, including a Christmas Parade in Calexico and a street fair in Imperial.
Next week’s Calexico Christmas Parade will be a continuing tradition for the border city, with parades and other things taking place.
For those of you unable to attend the Calexico Parade, you have the option of going to the annual Christmas in a Small Town in Imperial.
Imperial’s street fair, is designed to provide unusual gifts for Christmas and get people in the Holiday spirit. Santa will make an appearance too.

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