Reuters: Black Friday draws crowds, but spending in doubt
(Reuters) – Retailers were hoping for more shoppers like Shawn Elzia as the annual Black Friday bargain stampede marked the unofficial start of what is widely expected to be a middling holiday shopping season.
The Brooklyn, New York teacher, one of hundreds of thousands of shoppers jostling for deals around the country, said he ended up spending about 25 percent more than he planned, even while worrying about the state of the economy.
“I did not expect such deals,” the 33-year old said as he left a Macy’s store in Jersey City, New Jersey clutching bags full of clothing for himself and his family.
“It’s slashed down to the bones,” he said. “There were some great discounts if you showed up early.”
Deals are always part of the picture on the Friday after Thanksgiving. This year was notable for an earlier opening for some retailers and possibly for the one shopper using pepper spray to make sure she could get a popular video game system.
The early start by stores brought out younger shoppers such as Alina Ybarra, who spent the wee hours of the morning with her friends as they all looked for items for themselves.
“It’s really chaotic,” Ybarra, 17, said of her first Black Friday outing as she finished her shopping in Santa Monica, California. She said that she liked the deals at stores such as Gap Inc’s Old Navy and Urban Outfitters.
“It seems like a lot of teenagers were the primary shoppers, maybe because of the hour, but I think net-net it’s not really going to result in an incremental positive for retailers,” Ed Yruma, senior equity analyst at KeyBanc Capital Markets, said after checking out crowds at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota. He said shoppers were not carrying a lot of shopping bags……Read More
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