7 things retailers want shoppers to know about Black Friday


Nov. 23, 2013 at 5:23 a.m.
Updated Nov. 24, 2013 at 5:24 a.m.

Thanksgiving's menu might be all planned out, and that Christmas wish list could be well underway. Still, that doesn't mean every base is covered this season.

There's another event - some might say a holiday itself - that crops up just after the turkey is carved.

Namely, Black Friday. That post-Thanksgiving shopping event means big business throughout the nation as early-bird shoppers head out for doorbuster sales.

An estimated 140 million people plan to shop throughout the holiday weekend, which spans Thursday through Sunday, according to a National Retail Federation news release. That number is slightly down from last year's 147 million people, according to a retail federation news release.

The bulk of those - about 97 million shoppers - will hit stores on Black Friday.

Still, with a number of stores opening their doors on the holiday itself, 33 million consumers plan to shop on Thanksgiving.

Here are seven things Crossroads retailers want shoppers to know about Black Friday shopping:

Remember: Safety first

Shoppers often get excited when stores' doors open, but accidents can happen. Don't run and be mindful of those around you. You might not get every item you're out to find, but it's better than taking a tumble on a concrete floor.

Patience is a virtue

Longer-than-usual lines are common during Black Friday shopping, and everyone wants to get in and out as quickly as possible. Still, with so many people, there's only so much a store can do. Be patient.

Keep in mind the early bird gets the worm...

Many stores offer money-saving door-buster deals for Black Friday shoppers, but supplies go fast. Those who hope to be among the first through the doors should be prepared to wait in line, oftentimes hours before the sales start.

... But the bird who sleeps in avoids the crowds

There's something to be said for getting those doorbuster deals, but waiting it out also has its benefits. Those looking to avoid the throngs of shoppers can hit the stores about 8 a.m. Friday. By then, most early-birds have returned home to sleep. The next heavy wave of shoppers doesn't typically hit until noon or 1 p.m.

Plan your route

Whether that means knowing which stores to hit or where specific items are in a given shop, go in prepared. Retailers often move items to areas you wouldn't normally find them, both to spread out customer traffic and because they have extra merchandise. Many hand out maps to help direct customers to popular items.

Black Friday is chaotic for shoppers and retailers alike

Every season is different, and from shifting hours to attempts at organizing crowds, it can be difficult to know what to expect. Go in with a plan but don't be surprised if that plan changes throughout the day.

Enjoy the experience

Black Friday can be crazy, but for retailers and the shoppers who brave the crowds, it's often a fun sort of chaos. Don't get too upset if you don't mark everything off your list and remember to have a good time.

Sources: Rick Bishop, store director with H-E-B Plus!; Crystal Rangel, area supervisor with Kohl's; Eric Trapp, assistant store manager with Buckle




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