Black Friday shopping is a competitive sport

Posted November 25, 2011

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— Scoring Black Friday sales is a competitive sport for thousands of Triangle shoppers and for the big-box stores and small, local stores competing for their dollars.

"This is the Super Bowl. We've been talking about it week after week: Play-off one, play-off two, play-off three!" Best Buy manager Curtis Allen revved up employees at his Cary store before a midnight opening.

Holiday Shopping Black Friday deals

"If you talk about winning, as in a sport, the main objective will be to hunt down those items, find them, get them and buy them," shopper Anthony Rummel said.

For retailers, the stakes are also high on Black Friday. It kicks off the holiday shopping season when stores make 25 to 40 percent of their annual revenue.

Small, independent stores in Raleigh's Cameron Village offered discounts between 30 and 50 percent to lure customers.

Susan Dworsky said she's a longtime customer of Scout and Molly's, in part, because of the reputation of owner Lisa Vincent.

"I like to support local business. I know Lisa's a great businesswoman in the community, and she does a lot of charity work and a lot of animal rescues," Dworsky said. "I just like to support those endeavors. And she's got great stuff."

Vincent said she expected business to be even better tomorrow on Small Business Saturday, an initiative to get people to shop local.

Susan Dworsky, Cameron Village shopper Local stores compete for holiday shoppers

This year, many retailers added opening at midnight – or even earlier – to their bag of tricks to draw in shoppers.

More than 700 people were ready to go when the Toys 'R Us in Cary opened at 9 p.m. Thursday. Managers let in 50 people at a time to keep order.

Tiffany Jennings and her husband called first dibs on the toy sales by getting in line four hours earlier. She said the sales were well worth the wait.

"When it's your kids' happiness, you'd do anything for them," Jennings said.

Retailers hope the earlier openings will make Black Friday shopping more convenient for Americans worried about high unemployment and the weak economy.

About 34 percent of consumers plan to shop on Black Friday, up from 31 percent last year, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers, and 16 percent had planned to shop on Thanksgiving Day itself. For the weekend, 152 million people are expected to shop, up from 138 million last year.

"It's a good move to try to get shoppers to spend sooner before they run out of money," said Burt Flickinger, III, president of retail consultancy Strategic Resource Group. Black Friday shopping Triangle shoppers dash for deals

Some shoppers weren't swayed by the early openings. They came out for deals early Friday but said they weren't willing to cut into the Thanksgiving holiday.

"You're rushing through dinner and your time with the family," shopper Maddie Bunjay said.

"You shouldn't be opening the stores up at midnight," shopper Bill Bentley said. "My belief is that Thanksgiving is a family holiday and that you should spend it with our family and that shopping really shouldn't start until sometime early morning, maybe as early as 6 a.m."

Allen said Best Buy offered its employees a choice of early and late shifts to work on Black Friday.

"The associates are here today energized and ready to go, because we gave them that choice," he said. "They're here now, serving the customers when they want to be."

Other shoppers said the great deals – from $10 blenders to low-priced toys and electronics – were enough to draw them out at just about any time.

"It's not that fun, but in the end, the savings are good," shopper Joy Lynn Borden said. "With the way the economy is, you've got to save money where you can, and of course, that's what I'm doing for my kids."


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  • workingforthosethatwont Nov 25, 2011

    finding a parking place was the biggest challenge I faced today. People were acting like a hurricane was coming and they had to have plywood.

  • hi_i_am_wade Nov 25, 2011

    The Sam's Club in Rocky Mount had a computer for $499.99 that I was buying for a friend who needed a new computer. But there was no way I was going to camp out. So I ran some of my errands for today and I had to get gas. So I stopped at the Sam's Club to get gas at 11:00 a.m., and I went inside just to see if the computer was still there. They still had 2 of these computers left. So I got a decent computer and I didn't have to pepper spray anyone to get it.

    Moral of the story. Go to smaller towns if you want something.

  • Axtel Nov 25, 2011


  • caniac315 Nov 25, 2011

    People getting shot at and pepper sprayed. What a world in which we live.

  • Caroline Marie Nov 25, 2011

    "When it's your kids' happiness, you'd do anything for them," Jennings said." Quoted from the article. This is the type of mindset that has children growing up believing they are entitled to everything they want. This is why we have something like Occupy Wall Street going on. The belief in instant gratification. 10 years from now, your kid isn't going to remember you stood in line for some doll or video game that is fun until the next bigger better more expensive one comes along but they will remember you spending time with them and enjoying the meaning of Christmas. And if you aren't a Christian and you don't believe in God and the birth of Jesus, why are you celebrating anyway? Giving your kids everything they want leads them to be self centered and greedy. Maybe it's time to quit perpetuating the myth of Santa Claus anyway. Go out and volunteer your time instead of standing in a line waiting to get pepper sprayed or smacked down like the WWE!

  • redwolfone Nov 25, 2011


    Its intentional...Think about it.

  • redwolfone Nov 25, 2011

    There are no real "deals" to be had. Black Friday is a scam! Go on line and get your shopping done.

  • snowl Nov 25, 2011

    You get what you pay for...The retailer's have this all figured out for their own best interest, not the customer's.

  • mmtlash Nov 25, 2011

    when people put material things at such a high priority in their lives this is the's like folks go crazy in the wee hours of the day after Thanksgiving...kind of ruins the whole mentality associated with Thanksgiving and Christmas....I'd personally be afraid I'd get trampled or attacked by some over zealous shopper obsessed with saving a few bucks on the latest electronic item...hence I've never bothered with Black Friday

  • Caroline Marie Nov 25, 2011

    It's ridiculous. Not to mention, if last year is any indication, many of these items will be restocked and sold for just a few dollars more if not the same price. The hope is the people that go to get one of the two low priced laptops and don't will buy one of the more expensive ones or at least buy something to make the trip a bit worthwhile. What is the world coming to? I love and the other websites where I can get some great deals.