Shoppers and bargain hunters across Texoma braved wet weather and cooler temperatures on the search for discounts during their Black Friday shopping. Traditionally, Black Friday has represented the start of the Christmas shopping season and one of the busiest days of the year for retailers.
Light early morning storms and a light fog were not enough to keep away some shoppers, who waited outside stores in the Sherman Town Center ahead of opening Friday. For some the shopping holiday was a family tradition while others saw it as something to do over the extended weekend.
“We just got out today to get out of the house,” said James Miller of Paris, who was waiting in line for Best Buy to open. “I am surprised that it isn’t that bad, holy cow.”
The origins of the term Black Friday are not completely clear with some attributing it to the mass crowds of pedestrian and vehicle traffic from busy shoppers during the holiday season. Others attributed it to the profits retailers would generate over the weekend that would put them “in the black” for the year.
A small line of shoppers huddled together outside the retailer, waiting for the chance to get a deal on electronics, video game consoles, televisions and other door buster deals. Miller said the line seemed shorter than most years, but attributed it primarily to the weather and online shopping.
Miller didn’t have anything specific in mind when he decided to go shopping Friday, but his son was looking for a deal on a Gimbal camera stabilizer.
The trip to Best Buy was the second day of holiday shopping for Miller, who was among the estimated 39.2 million people who were expected to shop on Thanksgiving this year, according to the National Retail Federation. Miller said he was surprised at how calm and cordial everyone was at Walmart Thursday afternoon when he went shopping.
Meanwhile, David Carroll arrived shortly after 6:30 to be first in line for what he described as “Willy Wonka’s golden ticket” — a yellow voucher for a door-buster deal on a television set and laptop. Carroll, who lives in Arlington, said he was in town to visit family during the Thanksgiving holiday, but it was also a part of his shopping plans.
“If this was in Arlington, there would be about 500 people here,” he said.
Unlike Miller, Carroll said he decided not to shop on Thanksgiving this year despite doing it in recent years. He said the deals he was looking for were offered only on Friday.
About 165.3 million people are expected to shop between Thanksgiving Thursday and Cyber Monday with 114.6 million expected to shop on Friday, the National Retail Federation reported. Retail sales for the November and December season are expected to increase between 3.8-4.2 percent in comparison to last year’s numbers.
Of those expected to shop this year, 65 percent said it was due to the deals, while 28 percent said it was an annual tradition.
“The tradition of Thanksgiving weekend holiday shopping has become a five-day event with consumers spending money in stores, supporting local small businesses, and online with their mobile devices and computers,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Even as people are starting to purchase gifts earlier in the season, consumers still enjoy finding good Thanksgiving deals and passing time shopping with family and friends over the long holiday weekend.”