Twenty-five percent off is a sale so big, some fireworks will be below cost, Big Al's Super Values and Big Al's Fireworks owner Al Cohen said about his stores' early bird sales on everything, from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov.10.
Participating merchants plan a range of discounts and treats including coffee and doughnuts or doughnut holes. Cohen used to run his early bird sale 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., but is moving it an hour later because the first hour was getting few customers. As before, if someone is still shopping as the sale's end nears, they will get a coupon good for 25 percent off so they can keep on shopping throughout the store, Cohen said. Two Bangor women who had more shopping to do inspired the coupons, now a tradition, Cohen recalled.
Further south on Route 1, from what Ames True Value Supply co-owner Wayne Averill has seen, the store could be in for a good holiday shopping season. It is already having one, thanks in part to the Boothbay peninsula's fun with holiday lights since Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens began Gardens Aglow, he said.
Lights and extension cords have been selling, so people appear to be trying to get their decorations in order before wintry weather sets in, Averill said. “Maybe we won't get any” wintry weather, he said, smiling.
Each year in Maine's prettiest village, some shoppers turn out in classic early bird sale attire – pajamas and slippers; others, in daywear. Most discounts or their depths don't depend on sleepwear. But DebraElizabeth's at 78 Main St. continues its fun tradition of rewarding the earliest, PJ-clad birds with 40 percent off from 5:30 to 6 a.m.
When the doughnuts have worn off and you have your bevy of bargains and maybe that one special buy for you or yours, think lunch! Sarah's Cafe will have its chowder, soup and bread bar, and a shopper's special: Lobster macaroni and cheese with garden salad for $16. Sarah's is also offering a deal on gift cards: From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., for every $50, get $10 off.
Also participating Saturday are BIRCH, In the Clover, Rock Paper Scissors and Treats. Carl M. P. Larrabee Insurance Agency and Chris Almasi, Bean Group real estate, encourage people to shop the Early Bird. And Boothbay Register and Wiscasset Newspaper have a Wiscasset Early Bird deal ahead on subscriptions. Find more on the Wiscasset Early Bird on the first two pages of Section III in our Nov. 8 print edition.