November 24, 2006
Shoppers were lined up Thursday night waiting to be the first in the door this morning...but does it mean sales were high?
The National Retail Federation estimated 137 million people would hit the stores this weekend.
Best Buy averages they see about eight to nine hundred customers an hour on Black Friday alone, and this year they say the numbers are even higher.
With lines snaking all around the building at the Best Buy on Walton Way Extension on the eve of Black Friday, store manager Brad Deep estimates more than 400 customers camped outside their store.
"This was a record-breaking line, not just in sheer length but how quickly it assembled around the building," he said.
So what were the top three items these patient shoppers were willing to wait in line overnight to get their hands on?
"Flat panel TV, flat panel TV, flat panel TV," Brad said. "It's what the customers are looking for: the new thin design, plasma, wall mountable."
Other best sellers include mp3 players and laptops marked down almost half off their original price, making this year's deals some of the cheapest in the last six years.
"The pricing was very aggressive this year throughout the whole industry no matter what product it is," Brad said.
The International Council of Shopping Centers estimates the average consumer will spend $676 this year, with men spending a little more than women.
Stores like Best Buy say that based on their sales today alone, their forecasts are showing bright skies ahead.
"If today tells us anything about the rest of the season, we're in good stuff," Brad said.
The National Retail Federation predicted sales would be up five percent this year, bringing totals higher than $457 billion.