RALEIGH: With the Thanksgiving turkey digested, shoppers were expected to turn out in record numbers in the United States to shop for Black Friday deals. However, with inclement weather, thin crowds were seen outside stores on what has historically been the busiest shopping day of the year.
“Only 20 people have come through self-checkout, so far,” said Jimena Silva, a Target employee in Raleigh, North Carolina, which witnessed heavy rains on Friday.
Silva, 23, said that she’s seen more customers visit the store in previous years, but expects foot traffic to increase later.
An estimated 166.3 million people are planning to shop from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday this year, according to the National Retail Federation, almost eight million more than last year.
But with sporadic rain in some parts of the country, stores were less busy than usual on Black Friday morning.
At Times Square in New York City, which was cloudy with occasional light rain, employees were seen waiting inside stores for crowds that so far had not arrived.
Outside the American Dream mall in East Rutherford, New Jersey, there were no lines outside stores. A ToysRUS employee was seen walking around the mall handing out flyers with a list of the Black Friday door busters.
However, those who did make it to the mall were surprised at the deals on offer.
“There’s a lot of deals that weren’t advertised. Some of the stores I got 50 percent off everything I bought,” said Christine Chavez, 45, from Monmouth, New Jersey. She added that she is primarily gift shopping and picked up items from Victoria Secret and Torrid.
Retailers are offering steep discounts both online and in-stores, which may pinch profit margins in the fourth quarter.
Published in Dawn, November 26th, 2022