On your mark, get ready to shop ...
Shoppers looking for deals Friday may need to set an alarm clock to get up early. They also should expect long lines and snarled traffic. While most stores will be closed today for Thanksgiving, many will be opening early Friday, the day after Th...
Shoppers looking for deals Friday may need to set an alarm clock to get up early. They also should expect long lines and snarled traffic.
While most stores will be closed today for Thanksgiving, many will be opening early Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, offering sales, promotions and door busters to those willing to forsake sleep in the name of bargain shopping.
Local stores will open as early as 4 a.m. Friday, one of the busiest shopping days of the year and the unofficial start to the holiday shopping season. Shoppers have been known to brave sub-zero temperatures and camp out hours in advance of early store openings.
"many as 133 million Americans are expected to shop Friday, Saturday or Sunday this week, according to a National Retail Federation survey conducted by BIGresearch.
Local retailers are also expecting heavy traffic Friday and through the weekend.
The day after Thanksgiving has been dubbed Black Friday because it is when retailers traditionally go into the black or begin turning a profit for the year.
Scott Krugman of the National Retail Federation said over the past several years retailers have begun opening earlier and earlier with some even staging Midnight Madness events. He said retailers are listening to their customers, who have shown a willingness to shop early to get the best deals.
"I think it's tradition," Krugman said. "For a lot of consumers it is something they have done for years. It is the thrill of the hunt, looking for that great deal."
Some brave the crowds and long lines in an attempt to finish - or at least start - their holiday shopping.
A survey compiled by BIGresearch for the federation released a week ago found that more than 71 percent of shoppers had completed less than 10 percent of their holiday shopping.
But some would rather staple their head to the carpet than shop on the day after Thanksgiving.
"There are two mindsets," Krugman said. "Consumers who love it and consumers who don't want any part of it."
The National Retail Federation predicts that retail holiday sales will increase by a moderate 4 percent this year to almost $475 billion.
Michael Niemira, chief economist with the International Council of Shopping Centers, said he expects to see a modest gain in holiday sales this year, but said it is difficult to project exact numbers and said the final tally won't be known until gift card purchases are tallied up after being redeemed.
A recent survey of retailers by the North Dakota Retail Association estimated a 2 percent to 4 percent increase in holiday sales this year.