Archive for Friday, November 28, 2008

Shoppers hit Lawrence stores early for Black Friday deals

Lawrence stores fill up with holiday bargain hunters

Shoppers walk the sidewalks of downtown Lawrence on Black Friday, Nov. 28, 2008. Shoppers were in line as early as 4 a.m. at some stores for the start of Black Friday, the busy shopping day after Thanksgiving.

Shoppers walk the sidewalks of downtown Lawrence on Black Friday, Nov. 28, 2008. Shoppers were in line as early as 4 a.m. at some stores for the start of Black Friday, the busy shopping day after Thanksgiving.

November 28, 2008, 11:44 a.m. Updated November 28, 2008, 5:07 p.m.

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Black Friday

Shoppers were waiting outside Kohl's and Best Buy Friday morning when the doors opened. Stores offered bargains to get shoppers in early and help improve a lackluster holiday season.

An early-morning drizzle and gloomy economy couldn’t keep bargain hunters out of Lawrence stores on Black Friday.

Shoppers, huddled in hooded sweatshirts, gloves and scarves, drank coffee and chatted to pass the time as they waited for stores to open before sunrise. Some remained in their cars to avoid the cold rain. Best Buy store manager Todd Brees said a line began forming late Thursday night outside his store at 2020 W. 31st St.

Becky Dunavin and her daughter Shelby, 17, were the first shoppers in line at 2:40 a.m. waiting for the doors to open at Kohl’s at 3240 Iowa. The pair drove from their home in Perry to Lawrence on a mission to complete all their Christmas shopping in one day.

“We look forward to this,” Becky Dunavin said.

The Dunavins are continuing their shopping tradition, but this year they plan to spend less on gifts for their large family.

“We usually spend $2,000, and we’re cutting back,” Becky Dunavin said.

According to a preliminary shopping survey by the National Retail Federation, about 128 million people will shop this weekend. Shoppers and retail employees have said they believe consumers would still come out in high numbers on Black Friday, the unofficial first day of the holiday shopping season, but spend more conservatively than in the past.

“I think that because of the state of the economy, people are very choosy about where they’re making their purchases,” said Kohl’s store manager Robin Harmon. “People still want to buy gifts and have that special gift for their loved ones at the holidays, and so they are still going to purchase. They’re just looking for getting the most for their money.”

That means finding deals.

Kansas University junior Dawit Askabe ventured out to Best Buy after the store opened. He said he thought people were skeptical about shopping on Black Friday because they had less discretionary money to spend, but if people looked for sales they would still spend money.

“If people know they can find deals they will come out,” he said.

Kari Aguilar of Lecompton and her family joined the line at Kohl’s at 3:30 a.m. She said advertisements and large sales influenced people’s decision to shop on Friday.

“I think the stores are making a difference because of the prices (they offer),” she said.

Lawrence resident Bill Ball has spent the last five or six Black Fridays gift shopping with a friend. Ball is worried about what the future holds for the economy but said right now consumers will have to be “careful” with spending and plan more.

“It’s really going to be tough this year for a lot of people,” he said.

Several Downtown Lawrence retailers also reported steady traffic in their stores throughout the day and leading up to the evening lighting ceremony and Santa Claus’ appearance.

“I really like a lot of the little shops in comparison to going to the big malls,” said Jahna Foland, a pilot from Enid, Okla., who was visiting friends. “Big malls get too crowded, and down here, it’s just a homey, little atmosphere.”

Lawrence resident Bill Ball has spent the last five or six Black Fridays gift shopping with a friend. Ball is worried about what the future holds for the economy and said right now consumers will have to be “careful” with spending and plan more.

“It’s really going to be tough this year for a lot of people,” he said.

Comments

mom_of_three 6 years, 6 months ago

I remember when stores used to open at 7 am, but then stores wanted to compete to get the first buyers, and began opening earlier and earlier. Now it's 4 am to be the first one open. What will it be next year? One of these days, it will be Thanksgiving day.

james bush 6 years, 6 months ago

It says so much about what's great about our materialistic society.........what a joy it is to BUY things cheap and resell on ebay!

kufootballchick 6 years, 6 months ago

Zona Rosa and the Legends were open at midnight for shopping, Kmart and Bass Pro were open yesterday...this is getting crazier each year...but the bargins are worth the loss of sleep. :)

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 6 months ago

I actually posted this on another article at 7 something this morning but it really goes here too.I just came from Target. What a horrible mistake! They had a cell phone on sale I wanted to buy. When I got there the parking lot was a zoo. I can't count the number of people I almost hit running for the doors or the number of cars that almost hit me. I finally found a place to park two slots from the end of a row. When I got in the store I found out the phone had already sold out…in two hours from the time the doors opened. I kicked myself all the way back to my car.I know marketing strategy. They advertise loss leaders like that and put out maybe three of the item knowing full well that 99 out of 100 customers will switch to something else and pay full price when they find the sale item gone.I feel like a fool. And guess what? I won't go back to Target.

Alison Roberts 6 years, 5 months ago

one store opened at midnight this year, I cant remember which one though.Its pretty ridiculous.

Laura Wilson 6 years, 5 months ago

Southside of Lawrence had nothing I wanted that badly. We went downtown around 9:30 a.m. and it was very pleasant despite the sleet. Crowds were easily manageable, stores had sales, there was free parking, and much better food than the fast food out at the big box stores. We got some good deals and had no long lines to stand in and shopped at locally owned places and kept our dollars in Lawrence.

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