New state law lets Okla. retailers compete in 'Black Friday' sales

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DURANT, OK -- A new law goes into effect in Oklahoma Friday that will allow retailers to compete in "Black Friday" sales.

Under previous laws, retailers were required to sell an item for at least 6 percent more than than they paid for it. The new law relaxes these requirements, letting businesses hold these sales for up to 15 days in a row and as many as 10 times per year.

Tiffany Pierce, Durant Main Street director, said the old law meant most shoppers - and holiday dollars - went outside the state.

"A lot of our community were just driving over to Texas to do their Christmas shopping," she said. "There was a huge difference in prices from Sherman and Denison to Durant."

Shoppers in downtown Durant Friday said they were excited about the new law because it means they can find the same deals without having to leave home.

"It'll mean more money for [this area], for sure. And I think we should be in competition," said shopper Nel Manners.

And Durant retailers are ready to finally get to compete with their southern counterparts.

"It's very important because it'll assist people that work here, and also filters the money back into the community," said Aaron Mackey, manager at Mackey Home Furnishings.

Downtown business owners - like Cindy Ballard, owner of Back Porch home treasures - hope main street retailers can cash-in on the law as well.

"I think it's time. I think it's great," she said. "And all the merchants will be able to stay open late and have special sales to offer the customers."

And Pierce says shopping local is great for the community.

"It helps keep Durant booming with businesses, and if there's businesses in Durant, there's jobs," she said.

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