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Territory businesses take to Black Friday

The day after Thanksgiving - well known as \Black Friday\ in the United States, has also become a stable in American Samoa shopping - kicking off the official holiday season shopping frenzy - at least that is the hope of retail businesses that see the holiday season as their mainstay.Black Friday, according to website, is the day following Thanksgiving Day in the United States, traditionally the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. On this day, most major retailers open extremely early, often at 4 a.m., some even at midnight, and offer unbelievable promotional sales. It is a ‘first come, first serve' shoppers' paradise that has for some retailers, people camping out in their parking lot - some a week before Black Friday - awaiting the day.Wikepedia says that the day's name originated in Philadelphia, where it was used to describe the heavy and disruptive pedestrian and vehicle traffic, which would occur on the day after Thanksgiving. Use of the term started before 1966 and began to see broader use outside Philadelphia around 1975. Later an alternative explanation began to be offered that \Black Friday\ indicates the point at which retailers begin to turn a profit, or are \in the black\.For the territory, retail stores and other businesses are extending Black Friday sale items for not only today, but also for Saturday - in reaction to the sluggish local economy. Look to see details of the sales in the Samoa News, as well as possible extended sale events on the local shopping scene.And while many stores in the U.S. opened around midnight, our local Black Friday - without major brand name stores such as K-mart, Target and Kohl's - started at 5 a.m. today.For example, CBT True Value in Nu'uuli will hold a two hour \Black Friday\ sale from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. with a variety of items on sale - from kitchenwares to lawn mowers, to the all important Christmas Tree. More fun at True Value continues to Saturday with \auction aka pallet wars\ at their Tafuna industrial park site where the gates open at 7:30 a.m.Blue Sky Communication's Black Friday event is a ‘two-hour only' sale starting at 7 a.m. today, and has also jump started holiday calling with 1/2 price off long distance rates. While, at ACE American Industries in Malaeimi they begin their two-day anniversary sale, starting at 6 a.m. today. \Get a free raffle ticket with $5 minimum purchase on Nov. 25 and Nov. 26\ for the Saturday raffle.Today also kicks off \Transpac 2011 Year End Sale\ and raffle - which will be drawn at 12noon on Dec. 31st. First prize is a brand new washer/dryer. Other local retailers are also offering up deals to get early local shopping going - from computer specials at Computer World, ceramic tiles and furniture at K&K Island Star Furniture to the American Samoa TeleCommunications Authority's on-going special deals.A new event for the public is the \The Taste of Samoa\ food festival scheduled for today and tomorrow at the Origin Energy compound in Tafuna, gates open at 9 a.m. It's sponsored by Origin Energy, Sadies and Tradewinds Hotel, and I don't know about you - but I'm planning to give to the fundraisers there on both days to give my holiday spirit the lift it needs, while on Saturday - I'm there for the 12 noon Top Chef Showdown.Another event for tomorrow is the \Thanksgiving Raffle Vailoatai CCCA\ - all ten prizes are $10,000 cash, and raffle books are $5. The fundraising event starts of with a bingo scheduled at 10 a.m., in Vailoatai, and the drawing is at 2 p.m. Can't make it? Results will be on live radio and online.Local restaurants are also geared up to accommodate your office or family party. Restaurants and caterers recommend making your group reservations or order early. Keep checking for updates.Retailers, merchants and organizers of today's activities are all praying for good weather - and the weather service in Tafuna has complied, with the forecast of a good one for the territory.