Plenty of shoppers still catch Black Friday spirit
Posted November 25, 2016
Raleigh, N.C. — At Raleigh's Crabtree Valley Mall and the Carolina Premium Outlets on Friday, parking spots were hard to find but discounts were plentiful.
Thousands of shoppers countered the national data that show fewer people turning out for the traditional retail start of the holiday season. Black Friday, named because it was traditionally the day that saw retailers tip into a profit for the year, has taken on less significance as shoppers seek the convenience and price-comparison benefits of e-commerce and as stores expand the days and hours of sales to combat the decrease in foot traffic.
Crabtree Valley Mall opened at 6 a.m. and shopping was steady with people checking items off their lists. The longest line was found outside jewelry store Pandora, where one man said he waited more than three hours for a bracelet for his fiancée.
Roger Carpio got a late start on his bargain hunting – he didn't hear his alarm on Friday morning.
Anthony Whitaker was packing a key ingredient to manage the crowds. "It takes a lot of patience, a lot of kindness because everybody has their mind set on one thing," he said.
Whitaker said, he found several good deals.
Stores advertised savings of as much as 70 percent off to entice people to shop, and some chains like Macy's, Walmart and Target were open Thursday evening in what they hope will be a new holiday tradition as they try to fight off competition from online juggernaut Amazon.
The National Retail Foundation, the nation's largest retail group, expects holiday sales to rise 3.6 percent for November and December, better than the 3 percent growth seen for those months last year.
Electronics, especially large, connected flat-screen televisions, were expected to top many wishlists. Walmart was also stocked up on hot items like drones, virtual reality products and hoverboards.