Black Friday 2011 To Set Record?
Despite the country's fragile economy, many shoppers will line-up early for Black Friday, hoping to get the best deals on a range of goods. And with many stores opening up earlier than ever on Black Friday, retailers could see a record number of shoppers, CNN Money is reporting.
Black Friday is normally the top sales day of the year, according to ShopperTrak, which began monitoring holiday shopping traffic and sales at 25,000 stores nationwide in 2002. The only exception, according to ShopperTrak was in 2004, when the busiest day was the Saturday before Christmas.
The the National Retail Federation, an industry trade group, reports that about 152 million people are expected to shop on the day after Thanksgiving. That figure, however, could actually end up being a lot higher. Kathy Grannis, an NRF spokeswoman, notes that the organization predicted 138 million shoppers over the long holiday weekend last year, when a record high 212 million actually showed up to shop.
Experts say that toys and electronics will be the big draws this Black Friday.
Some retailers got a jump on Black Friday by opening their doors on Thanksgiving. Wal Mart, K-Mart, Gap and Old Navy were among the stores that stayed open on Thanksgiving day hoping to lure shoppers in early. Toys 'R Us and Wal Mart (despite being open earlier in the day) will begin their Black Friday sales later Thursday night, opening at 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. respectively. Target, Best Buy, Kohl's and Macy's will open at midnight. A number of malls and other stores will also open at midnight.
MSNBC reported that bargain hunters have been lined up outside some of these stores since Wednesday.
Some, however, are not as enthused about the post-Thanksgiving holiday shopping rush. A group affiliated with the Occupy Wall Street movement is asking shoppers to "Occupy Black Friday" and boycott big-box and chain stores and shop at small and local businesses.
In Seattle, protesters are carpooling to Walmart stores to protest. Washington, D.C. is letting people donate unneeded items so "customers" of their "Occupy Black Friday" can shop for free.
Meanwhile, protesters in Boise, Idaho plan to send "consumer zombies" to wander around a local mall, and the Des Moines, Iowa group plans flash mobs at three malls.