Shoppers head out for Black Friday deals

By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Region - posted Tue., Dec. 3, 2013
(L-r) Darby (3), Denham (6) and Ivy (3) visit with Santa at the Eastbrook Mall while shopping with their parents on Black Friday, Nov. 29. Photo by Melanie Savage.
(L-r) Darby (3), Denham (6) and Ivy (3) visit with Santa at the Eastbrook Mall while shopping with their parents on Black Friday, Nov. 29. Photo by Melanie Savage.

Franklin resident Nancy Muzykoski said that she began shopping with her grandsons at about 10 a.m. the Friday after Thanksgiving, at the Eastbrook Mall in Mansfield. The boys had taken advantage of a deal on fleece pajamas at Olympia Sports, and Muzykoski had picked up a pair of Dearfoam slippers. They were on sale at Kohl’s for $9.99, and Dearfoam had sent a $10 promotional coupon. “So I got them for free,” said Muzykoski. Asked whether she’d taken advantage of any early Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving Day, Muzykoski said that she had not. “I spent the day with family,” she said. “That’s more important than anything.”

Likewise, Michael and Johanna Martin, from Chaplin, said that they’d stayed home with family on Thanksgiving Day. They’d slept in on Friday and then came to the mall with their children, twin daughters Darby and Ivy (age 3), and son Denham (age 6). The family had picked up a few Black Friday specials and were headed past Kohl’s when the children spotted Santa sauntering toward them. The twins were delighted, trotting over happily to chat with Santa.

Inside Kohl’s, the line for the registers reached two thirds of the way around the store perimeter. The store was still packed, even though the Black Friday sale had begun at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving evening.

But despite the fact that some retailers, such as Walmart, opened their doors as early as 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving evening this year, some experts think that Black Friday is on its way out. Bill Tancer, head of global research for Experian Marketing Services, said in a September 2013 Time magazine article, “We are seeing the eventual extinction of Black Friday.”

According to research firm Accenture’s holiday survey, the percentage of shoppers hitting the mall on Black Friday has been on a steady decline, with 44 percent of consumers saying that they are likely to shop on Black Friday in 2011, compared to 47 percent in 2010, and 52 percent in 2009.

According to Consumer Reports, only 24 percent of consumers actually planned on shopping on Black Friday in 2010.

But the actual amount of money shelled out for Black Friday spending seems to be increasing.  According to the website, Black Friday spending amounted to $52,400,000,000 in 2011, compared to $59,100,000,000 in 2012. The average consumer spent $423 on Black Friday in 2012, compared with $398 in 2011 and $365 in 2010. While statistics aren’t complete yet for 2013, according to CNN Money, total spending over the four-day Thanksgiving weekend of 2012 reached a record high of $59.1 billion, a 13 percent increase from $52.4 billion from 2011.

But 41 percent of that spending was done online in 2012, compared with 38 percent the year before. Two hundred forty-seven million people made purchases on Black Friday in 2012, compared with 226 million in 2011, and 212 million in 2010. Brick and mortar sales were up only 3 percent last year, but online sales were up by 15 percent. Online sales made via a mobile device increased by 16 percent in 2012, and that number is expected to increase when 2013 statistics have been compiled and tabulated.

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