North Texas Daily

Long lines, uptick in digital sales on Black Friday

Long lines, uptick in digital sales on Black Friday

November 26
23:42 2012

Daniel Bissell / Staff Writer

Hordes of North Texas consumers camped outside, hustled through aisles and browsed retail websites on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving marking the unofficial opening of holiday shopping season.

Early store openings and digital retail cut into in-store sales this year.

Denton outlets such as Best Buy, Kohl’s and Target started offering cost-cutting Black Friday deals Thanksgiving night to gain a competitive edge.

Retail research firm ShopperTrak estimated that shoppers spent $11.2 billion at brick-and-mortar stores on Black Friday, a 1.8 percent decline from a year ago. 

However, a record number of Americans did their early holiday shopping from the comfort of their own homes: Consumers spent more than $1 billion online on Black Friday, a 26 percent increase from last year, according to comScore, a consumer analytics research firm.

Shoppers still flocked en masse to stores across North Texas to capitalize on thousands of low-cost deals.

Carl Roell, an Austin resident who travelled to Dallas early Friday morning to shop at the Galleria, said his experience was hectic but worth it.

“It was a madhouse,” Roell said. “I’ve never seen anything like it. I thought getting in line before the sunrise would give me an edge, but apparently everyone else had that same idea. I’m glad I endured it, though.”

Denton resident Daniel Hamilton did his Black Friday shopping at Grapevine Mills Mall. He said that the crowds were almost unbearable, but the deals were too good to pass on.

“It took me hours to get what I needed,” Hamilton said. “It was extremely cutthroat. I saved a lot of money, but I could do without all the hassle. But that’s how it goes this time of year.”

Black Friday is a notoriously profitable, if stressful, day for retail owners and employees.

Psychology senior Alex Schluter, who works for a commission-based sales office, said Black Friday was a great day for business.

“I’ve noticed that on Black Friday, people are already in a mode of impulse buying, so our work was pretty much cut out for us,” Schluter said. “We recorded huge numbers without the hellish experience that retail workers have to endure every year.”

Shoppers and retailers are relieved to have made it past the Black Friday hump, but the holiday shopping season has just begun.

Financial analysts such as Time magazine’s Brad Tuttle predict that digital retail will continue to rise in prominence, and that stores will continue to open up Black Friday deals Thursday night to get an early start.

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