Frenzied US shoppers swarm stores on Black Friday

2012-11-24 10:16

Frenzied shoppers across the United States joined the Black Friday rush for bargains, the kick-off to the crucial holiday shopping season being closely watched amid a lackluster economy.

Television images showed berserk buyers charging through doors as stores opened up for Black Friday sales on the day after the Thanksgiving holiday.

Some stores opened at midnight, while others such as big-box retailers Walmart and Target jumped the gun, opening on Thanksgiving night and carving into the family-centered holiday.

At 11pm Thursday, scores of people were lined up outside a Best Buy store electronics store waiting for its midnight opening.

Phyllis Loges (52) and her daughter had already waited four hours. “I want to buy a home cinema with TV and sound system,” she said, adding that the doorbuster sale price was $1 500, instead of normal prices around $3 500.

In New York City, the well-known Macy’s flagship department store was a destination for many. Macy’s chief executive Terry Lundgren was on the scene as it opened at midnight.

“I swear I was standing there for 18 to 20 minutes, and the lines of incoming traffic never stopped,” he told NBC. “People are definitely shopping and kicking off the shopping on Black Friday.”

Black Friday was a boon for tourists, too.

At 7am Friday, Abdul Albudikhi, a 22-year-old from Saudi Arabia, left a Hollister clothing store on Fifth Avenue, his arms laden with shopping bags after shopping since midnight.

“I bought jeans, shoes, a present for my girlfriend, one for my father,” he said.

Walmart, the world’s biggest retailer, said it had its “best ever” Black Friday, with larger crowds than last year.

Meanwhile, disgruntled Walmart workers mounted strikes and protests across the country seeking better pay and benefits.

“There is going to be an impact,” employee William Fletcher told MSNBC. “The point isn’t so much to hurt Walmart as much as it is to get them to listen to us and appreciate the work we do.”

Some competitive shoppers lost their cool as they tussled over items or staked out their spots in line.

According to the San Antonio Express News website, one man pulled a gun on another who punched him in the face while the two were waiting in line outside a Sears store late Thursday.

Black Friday starts the year-end holiday shopping season that often tips retailers out of the red and into the black for the year.

But the day’s impact on balance sheets is starting to wane, as more and more stores try to reel in customers on Thursday, even if it means that their employees have to forego the traditional Thanksgiving feast.

Peter Morici, an economics professor at the University of Maryland, said that Black Friday remains important for retail sales, a big part of the consumer spending that powers about 70% of US economic growth.

But he warned that Americans remain cautious amid a fragile recovery.

“If the weekend numbers are not good, the holiday season won’t be good.”

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/Music
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The full moon is in your sign emphasising your fast and innovative mind. Your nervous system may take strain if you are juggling...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.