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Downtown Bangor vendors plan Plaid Friday sales to challenge Black Friday

Michael York | BDN
Michael York | BDN
Jason Bird, business development officer for downtown Bangor, says his tie isn't quite plaid but you get the idea. Downtown Bangor businesses are encouraging shoppers to enjoy a more peaceful shopping experience on Friday, Nov. 23, 2012, the day after Thanksgiving. Shoppers attired in plaid will be entitled to gifts from some merchants who wish to say thank you for participating.
By Nick McCrea, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — Downtown Bangor business owners hope to give big-box stores a run for their money on Black Friday.

More than a dozen downtown shops and vendors will open their doors from 10 a.m. to 6 or 7 p.m., and will offer sales and discounts ranging from 10 to 25 percent or more, according to Jason Bird, downtown coordinator for the city.

“The idea behind it is, instead of going to the mall and getting trampled on, pushed and shoved, or having to wait in line for hours on end in the cold, we’re urging people to instead come downtown,” Bird said Wednesday.

Organizers call the event Plaid Friday, which is designed to be a fun, laid-back alternative to Black Friday shopping. Business owners will wear plaid in recognition of the event, and customers are encouraged to do the same, according to Bird.

Participating businesses include Blue Heron, Mexicali Blues, Metropolitan Soul, The Rock and Art Shop, Epic Sports, Central Street Farmhouse, Briar Patch, Maine Jewelry and Art and most other downtown retail shops.

Any shopper who brings a receipt from a downtown business to Giacomo’s or Antique Marketplace & Cafe can get a free coffee, Bird said.

“The shop owners, the retailers are all sort of a mini-community in themselves,” and often work together to support and promote the downtown, he said.

Another locally owned business closer to the mall is planning an event of its own. Bull Moose Music, with 11 locations across the state, will be open from 6 a.m. until midnight Friday and from 9 a.m. until 11 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

The stores will offer several new and special items, ranging from the full Beatles catalog reissued on vinyl to the complete 23-DVD collection of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”

“Sales analytics from our 11 locations in Maine and New Hampshire point [toward] a strong Black Friday for Bull Moose, and we hope our positive forecasts come true for all Maine retailers,” Bull Moose President Brett Wickard said Wednesday.

Correction: An older version of this story stated that Bull Moose Music would be open at 6 a.m. Friday and remain open until midnight Sunday. Bull Moose Music's actual hours are 6 a.m. until midnight Friday and from 9 a.m. until 11 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

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