Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: A Black Friday extravaganza!

November 27, 2009

HOLIDAYSALES/Today’s a serious shopping day for serious shoppers.

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.”

HOLIDAYSALES/Lou McAnany, a college studentĀ 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:

* What wine goes with pumpkin pie?

* No Thanksgiving rest for retailers in sales race

(Additional reporting by Phil Wahba, Tom Hals and Tim Gaynor)

(Reuters photos)


I already shopped online this morning. I already hit up Target and JCPenney with no wait, no lines, no cold weather. I saved 15% at Kohls on top of the good sale prices and $5 at Target on top of the doorbusters by using


watch out ,, save your money,, I there is no cash flow in the stores ,, the prices will drop like a rock after christmas,,, this is going to be worse than last year,,, save your money,,, use thrift stores and 99 cent stores ,,, you will need the money,,,how much can u squeeze into your house ,, the stuff will depreciate and be worth nothing,, look at the thrift stores ,,that is where your stuff will end up,,,worthless,,, put your money in a financial portfolio,, buy your family I bonds as presents no garbage stuff ,, instruments financial will appreciate and get your movies from the library,, no charge,,, how many times are you going to view them,,,once??? twice??/ get them from the library,, 10 a day free,,, save your dough

Posted by anne bartee | Report as abusive

This year will be huge when it comes to Black Friday. Coupons and deals site everywhere will be hit hard with traffic like and others. Try doing your shopping on that day because things will be much cheaper

Posted by TrimBack | Report as abusive

Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see