Retailers, consumers and prices
Check Out Line: A Black Friday extravaganza!
Black Friday is no longer a sport for the leisurely shopper. From our late-night rounds, it became clear that people were lining up all over in the dead of night (and some earlier than that!) not just for the fun of it but out of necessity.
While many of the stoutest shoppers were grimly determined to get their deals and get out, there was some fun and holiday cheer.
At a Best Buy in Springfield, Pennsylvania at midnight, the 50 people in line created an atmosphere part football tailgate and part Department of Motor Vehicle tension. A card table was set up near the end of the line, but the reception on that end was quite frosty, possibly “enhanced” by the consumption of cheap beer.
But for the most part, the deals were the thing.
Take Nate Bryan of Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania, who arrived at 2:30 am EST this year to get a laptop for his daughter.
“It’s normally $1,000 and now cut in half. That $500 can go to other things,” he said.
Laptops and big ticket items are favorites of this day, but they are not the only items.
Debbie Techac, who works as a cashier at a supermarket, had waited for more than 12 hours outside a Best Buy in central Phoenix to buy a heavily discounted Dyson vacuum cleaner reduced to $329 from $549, two laptops — one of them a Sony — and some DVDs. She expected to buy the laptops for $200-$300.
While many shoppers are looking to scale back spending, some of our early risers had other plans.
Techac said she was spending about the same as last year, and felt fairly optimistic both about her own job security, and the outlook for the wider economy.
“I have job security. I work at Fry’s. It’s a grocery store, everybody has to eat … I think (the economy) is going to get better, I hope.”
Lou McAnany, a college student in Phoenix, was playing Monopoly on the sidewalk with his girlfriend to pass the time waiting for Best Buy to open. “I’m playing with fake money, wishing it were real,” he said with a chuckle.
McAnany was lining up to buy a 40-inch LCD television, although he was not yet sure what brand or model, paying around $300, with savings of around $400, as well as an iPod and a Nintendo Wii.
“I’m happy with the discounts, I wouldn’t be standing out all night if I weren’t. It seems like they are better than last year.”
So, with all this buying, everyone will get something, right?
“Anybody old enough to get a job,” is being cut off this year’s Christmas list said Ayanna Brown, a 34-year-old Brooklyn resident who worked as a bookkeeper at a legal firm but lost her job last year, is now back in school and will graduate in June.
“Around Christmas you have to splurge on the kids, so the grown-ups understand.”
How has your Black Friday been? Any fantastic deals you want to share? What’s Number One on your wish list?
Also in the basket:
(Additional reporting by Phil Wahba, Tom Hals and Tim Gaynor)