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(Elizabeth Lewis - Daily Press)

(Elizabeth Lewis – Daily Press)

Heather Ruppanner and Jenna Brown sift through racks of dresses and shirts this morning at Kouros & Kore during the store’s Black Friday sale. Local merchants reported a slow start to Black Friday shopping today, with some speculating the cold, rainy and intermittently snowy weather was keeping customers indoors while others chalked it up to economic woes. Crowds also appeared smaller this year than last at retail giants such as Wal-Mart and Kmart, who began offering their Black Friday deals Thanksgiving evening, but many Artesians could still be spotted loading bargains into their vehicles at around 7 p.m. Thursday.