Local News

Discount seekers ready for Black Friday

Posted November 27, 2008 5:06 p.m. EST
Updated November 27, 2008 10:22 p.m. EST

— For some families, shopping on Black Friday is as much a Thanksgiving weekend tradition as the turkey dinner or watching football.

The holiday shopping season hits full gear early Friday when discount seekers descend on stores for deals.

With the economy in such turmoil, 76 percent of people said they expected to spend less on the holidays. Some shoppers said they plan to spend 20 to 25 percent less than last year.

To counter cautious consumers, retailers are pulling out all the stops.

Those that traditionally open early, are opening even earlier. On Thursday night hundreds of  shoppers took advantage of deals on items, including artificial Christmas trees, at Michael's craft store at the White Oak Shopping Center. The company held a three-hour sale at their locations across the country.

At midnight the Carolina Premium Outlets in Smithfield will open for its Midnight Madness event. Many families make the event part of their annual tradition.

Many stores have slashed prices, hoping to convince window shoppers to pull out that wallet. Major department stores and mall-based chains have cut prices up to 70 percent.

Some retailers are offering freebies and even raffles. At Pier 1 Imports, shoppers can register for the drawing for a new car. Runners-up can win a $500 gift certificate.

Shoppers camped out Thursday outside the Best Buy in Fayetteville. Carrie Hamm and her sons said they chose to spend Thanksgiving in line so they can be first in line for deals when the store opens at 5 a.m. Friday.

"I'm a single mom with three teenagers. This is the best thing to get things that they want at a reasonable price," she said.

The family was willing to hunker down in the cold to fill out their wish lists. Some may call it crazy. "I'm thinking budget," Hamm laughed.

About 40 people were in line late Thursday in front of the Best Buy in Garner. Luanne Smith and her family plan to be one of the first through the doors to purchase a new computer.

“We have our tent and sleeping bags,” Smith said.

When the doors open at 5 a.m. on Friday, Smith and her family will have camped out for more than 20 hours.

“We all need to save money right now,” Smith said.

For Black Friday shoppers, the best way to make a happier holiday, is getting the best bargain.