Black Friday shoppers were still hitting the stores en masse on Friday, particularly at Marshall Place’s flagship store STAGE where the store is hosting its Black Friday sales, alongside its store closing sales.

Houston-based Stage Stores Inc., which operates STAGE stores in Longview, Kilgore, Marshall and Gilmer, said it plans to convert its remaining department stores beginning in February.

Marshall’s STAGE store will have been the Marshall Place/Mall’s flagship store for 40 years at the time of its closing next year.

STAGE recently sent out mailers announcing its final Black Friday sale this week.

Marshall STAGE Store Manager Linda Roach said on Friday that while she cannot comment on the store’s closing, an incredible amount of East Texas shoppers took advantage of the store’s early Black Friday shopping this year, drawing the store’s largest crowds to date.

“Our Black Friday has definitely been bigger this year,” she said. “We started our Black Friday at 6 p.m. on Tuesday and we had a massive line outside the store both days. It was madness. We now have more people coming through our front door than we’ve ever had, and it’s partly because of the other businesses that are here in Marshall Place now.”

Roach encouraged customers to take advantage of the ongoing Black Friday deals at STAGE, as well as the store closing sales and falling prices which will continue through the end of the year.

Another boost to STAGE’s customer numbers has been the new deal with Amazon, which makes the store an Amazon Hub.

“When a customer places their order on Amazon, they can choose to have it shipped here to STAGE and they can pick it up from us,” she said. “When they pick it up here, they get a special coupon from us — an incentive.”

Roach said the Amazon Hub has helped bring in customers that have never stepped foot inside STAGE before.

Roach also said the store’s Black Friday incentives, including scratch off wins of $10, $100 and $250 gift cards, as well as deals like a 50 inch Smart TV for $199, helped draw in a record number of customers this Black Friday.

“We are re-stocking our boots, toys and tech items and continuing with special savings deals throughout the store’s closing,” she said. “STAGE is truly a one stop shop this holiday season. We have expanded our home department, we have the clothing, shoes, luggage, bed and bath items, and we have a gift department where people can come in and grab a gift that’s ready to go.”

Following Black Friday, small, local businesses will get their day in the spotlight as Small Business Saturday seeks to draw in customers for special deals at locally owned businesses throughout downtown Marshall, Jefferson, Waskom and Hallsville.

On Monday, shoppers will hit the web to catch deals for Cyber Monday and on Tuesday, East Texans will have a chance to give back to local charities as part of the annual Giving Tuesday — a day to donate and highlight local charities.

“I believe our customers are absolutely going to love Gordmans,” Roach said. “There really is not another store like it in Marshall.”