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Stores get jump on Black Friday sales

Posted November 25, 2008
Updated November 26, 2008

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— Stores are pulling out all stops to get shoppers to open their wallets. Many retailers have already rolled out deep discounts ahead of Black Friday.

"I am already seeing the savings,” shopper Jeannie Hicks-Beta said.

However, that does not mean Hicks-Beta is doing a lot of spending. Her husband recently was laid off from his job.

"We have to be very careful this holiday season about our spending – whereas in previous years, we may have been a little more relaxed,” Hicks-Beta said.

“A lot of retailers are nervous,” said Jon Bohlmann, a marketing professor at North Carolina State University.

Americans are expected to spend 50 percent less this year, according to the American Research Group. To get them to change their minds, Bohlmann said stores are advertising big sales traditionally offered after Thanksgiving.

"So instead of 25 percent discounts, they are doing 40 to 50 percent discounts,”  Bohlmann said.

Other stores are pushing easier ways to pay, such as the 18-month plan at Best Buy. Sears and K-mart are hyping layaway options popular in the 1980s.

Forty-five percent of consumers report that they plan to shop on Black Friday or during the weekend after Thanksgiving, according to a International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) survey. Those shoppers also plan to do 81 percent of their holiday shopping at a discount store, ICSC reports.

Shoppers were not fretting as much at a Cary music store Tuesday evening. Customers in need of extra cash during these troubled economic times were bringing in their used instruments to sell.

"We are buying left and right, just about every day,” said Kevin White, with Music-Go-Round.

The store is also able to offer big bargains for its paying customers.

"It is $125 brand new, but our used price is actually $69.99,” White said of a set of band cymbals for sale in the store.

To prepare for slower sales, some stores may also keep less merchandise in stock. The danger there could be running out of popular gift items.


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  • Stormy13 Nov 26, 2008

    TarheelsDontLikeEdwards: I so agree with you! This whole has gotten too commercial, even in these bad times retailers only want us to spend, spend, spend. Not me! I have NEVER done a "Black Friday" and don't plan on ever doing one. I make my list and stick to it within a budget. I must say though that this years budget is much tighter than years past, money just isn't there. Cost of everything continues to increase but income stays the same. This Country is in need of help badly.

  • braddyg Nov 26, 2008

    I've done Black Friday once...camped outside a Best Buy starting at 9PM on Thanksgiving to get a replacement for a laptop I had inadvertently stepped on (oops!). I have to say, it was actually a little fun. I've been itching to try it again since then, but it probably won't be this year. Like most everybody else, I'm too broke to make any big purchases.

    Great and Wise Obama, can you redistribute some of your wealth to me by Friday? :)

  • housemanagercary Nov 26, 2008

    I have 3 young children so yes I do go out every Black Friday morning to take advantage of all the deals, and before you all scream, we buy everything with cash, we don't do debt.

  • ezLikeSundayMorning Nov 26, 2008

    I hope to finish shopping on that day. I kind of like the excitement. I don't get up at the crack of dawn, though. Last year I went to Walmart for a deal on DVDs at 10am, got what I wanted, and checked out in the express lane with NO waiting.

    The problem with doorbusters is the limited quantities. If you wake up at 3am, but your 11th in line, you might not get one of the 10 HDTVs in the add.

  • HappyGirl08 Nov 26, 2008

    I like to go out. We usually get up early and go to the mall. I will look online at bestbuy and places like that because usually you can get most of those deals that way and avoid the 3am line all the way around the world. It makes it much nicer to hit the mall at 5am and get a parking space, do all the shopping you want and not have to go back once you leave.

  • BELLA28 Nov 26, 2008

    The one and only time I ever shopped on black Friday was two years ago. NEVER AGAIN! Not worth the hassle in many ways.

    Thankfully, a long time ago I taught my kids that AFTER the holidays is a better time to shop because of the markdowns. So now, every year they ask for gift cards and they want to go shopping after Christmas! They go with the understanding that they may not get what they are looking for, but so far, that has never happened.

    Dalefan - I agree with you 110%!!!!!!! Retailers still see a profit...so why not lower prices year round?

  • sunneyone Nov 26, 2008

    Heh, the only time I go out on Black Friday is in the afternoons. It's ridiculous to get up at the crack of dawn and stand in line to buy a bunch of STUFF that people MIGHT like, if you're lucky.

  • dohicky Nov 26, 2008

    Never shopped on black Friday - too much of a hassle. Stopped overspending on Christmas a long time ago and enjoy the true holiday a lot more. The government is doing all it can for these giant corps and want us litte people to borrow. THey are crazy - we don't need to go more in debt when a lot of our jobs are in jeapardy. Give us the money and we will spend it and jobs will be more secure.

  • seeingthru Nov 26, 2008

    I never have shopped black friday--never will..on-line auctions--yeah

  • bs101fly Nov 26, 2008

    i hope black Friday is crash Friday!