A popular Black Friday sale at White Rose Bar & Grill has caught the attention of other city merchants looking to lure deal seekers to their downtown shops.
During the last four years, hundreds of shoppers lined up outside the York restaurant before 6 a.m. the Friday after Thanksgiving, hoping to be one of the first 500 there.
Each year on Black Friday, White Rose offers gift cards valued at $50 for just $25 to the first 500 people in line.
"Last year we were completely sold out in an hour and a half," said Jeremiah Anderson, general manager and partner at the restaurant.
White Rose will offer the same deal this year and give additional shoppers a little boost. After the first 500 cards are gone, anybody who buys a $50 gift card will receive a $10 gift card.
"It creates happy customers, and hundreds of people are coming downtown early to spend money," Anderson said.
White Rose sales have remained consistent and haven't seen a huge spike after the gift card sale, he said, but it "creates a good atmosphere and brings more people downtown."
Central Market and Beaver Street merchants are hoping to cash in on some of that foot traffic.
From 6 to 8 a.m. Friday, Nov. 29, Beaver Street shop owners will offer gift card deals similar to those at White Rose.
"White Rose is such a great anchor for the street. Why not give those customers another easy deal in the morning," said Beth Bulik, event organizer and co-owner of Park Street Pantry.
Promoting one-stop shopping, the store owners will operate a stand outside the Beaver Street entrance to Central Market.
The deals include $25 gift certificates for $15 at Arthur & Daughters, Park Street Pantry and Lotus Moon Yoga; $50 gift certificates for $40 at Watchmaker's Daughter; $20 gift cards for $15 and $10 certificates for $7.50.
To help battle the Thanksgiving turkey-tryptophan hangover, the merchants will also provide free coffee, hot chocolate and bakery treats.
Other discounts will be offered in-store at other shops:
•Sunrise Soap Co. will give three bars of soap with every $25 gift card purchase from 6 a.m. To 10 a.m.
•The first person in line at 6 a.m. At Kimman's 51 N. Beaver St. entrance will receive $50 worth of jewelry and a $50 gift card. The next 10 people in line will receive gift certificates to be used that day. And anyone who spends $100 on Vera Bradley merchandise will receive a special tote valued at $48.
•Sweet Melissa's Dream will give customers who purchase a $50 gift certificate, an extra $25 gift certificate.
•Bair's Fried Chicken in Central Market will offer $10 gift certificates for $8.
•Central Market will offer an online special to promote its new website and attract shoppers. From 6 a.m. To noon, online visitors can purchase $25 gift cards for $15 at www.centralmarketyork.com.
Caroline Morris, owner of Kimman's, was optimistic about the deals.
"I think it's a fun way to reward customers. Black Friday is usually our second-biggest day of the year, with Small Business Saturday being the biggest," she said.
Hilary Arthur, owner of Arthur & Daughters, agreed.
"We hope to service customers looking for special deals. It's something fun to kick off the season," she said. "White Rose has been so successful with the gift card deal. I think it could really work for the street as well."