Black Friday shopping tradition continues | NevadaAppeal.com

Black Friday shopping tradition continues

Becky Bosshart
Appeal Staff Writer

Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal Costco wine steward Mark Diaz restocks shelves Wednesday morning at the Carson City store. Retailers are preparing for an estimated 63 million Americans expected to hit the stores early Friday morning as a start to the holiday shopping season known as Black Friday.

Nevada shoppers will be up early and out before sunrise Friday to grab up doorbusters and deep discounts on the day retailers promote as the economic harbinger of the holiday season.

It’s called Black Friday because sales will add up into the black in the ledgers of many retailers, while many consumers continue their descent into the red.

The average holiday shopper is expected to spend about $790 this year, according to the National Retail Federation’s 2006 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey. That’s up $50 from 2005. Many consumers plan on heading to the electronics and toy sections first.

Discount stores will be the most popular holiday shopping location, with 70 percent of survey respondents saying they’ll go there first. Nearly half of consumers said they plan to shop online this year.

Specialty stores won’t receive as much attention from consumers. Many are still getting ready for the most promoted shopping day of the year. Scandia Plus, in downtown Carson City, will open early, between 8 and 9 a.m.

“I think a lot of people will be going to Wal-Mart,” said shop co-owner LeAnn Sand. “I don’t know if they’ll be going downtown, but I’m hoping people will.”

Recommended Stories For You

This is the first Black Friday for Sand and her business partner, Jennifer Shequen.

According to a recent poll from Consumer Reports, an estimated 63 million Americans will hit the stores to start the holiday shopping season.

• Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at bbosshart@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1212.

Tips for those braving Black Friday

• Don’t assume that the best deals are on Black Friday: Many merchants are already reacting to intense competition by slashing prices as much as 50 percent and dangling bonus discounts to customers willing to shop at slower times during the day. Consumers who delay their shopping a bit will not be forced to pay full price.

• Shop early: Aside from beating heavy traffic and avoiding packed stores, early birds get to choose from the entire range of merchandise before it’s been picked through, which could mean fewer color, size and style options.

• Check the retailer’s Web site: It can save consumers time and possibly a trip to the store. Shoppers can learn if the products they want are stocked and available. Another plus: retailers may offer coupons that shoppers can print out and bring with them for extra savings.

• Watch return policies and restocking fees: Retailers are becoming stricter when it comes to enforcing return policies. Consumer Reports advises shoppers to ask for gift receipts. Without one, a merchant will issue a store credit for the lowest priced the item actually sold for, not for the price that might have been paid. Returning opened items such as TVs, camcorders, digital cameras and other major buys could cost consumers as much as 25 percent of the purchase to cover the cost of a restocking fee.

• Let the charity group at the mall wrap your gifts for you: This will save you a lot of time and free you up to do other things. The Rainbow Girls will be wrapping gifts for shoppers in the Carson Mall starting Friday.

• Watch your personal belongings at all times: The stores are not responsible for any lost items so be careful, especially at the register when you can get easily distracted by the transaction.

• If you are looking for specific advertised items, take the complete ad with you so that you don’t end up in the wrong store looking for a specific price.

Sources: Consumer Reports and the National Retail Federation. For Consumer Reports annual Holiday Shopping Guide visit http://www.consumerreports.org.