Black Friday bargains bring crowds and booming business
The National Retail Federation estimates that Black Friday shopping will bring in $447 billion for 2010.
Just as Black Fridays before, consumers began lining up at stores hours before they opened.
Debbie Hinman camped out at Target starting at 6 pm Thanksgiving Day waiting for the 4 a.m. Black Friday deals. She brought along her brother-in-law, grandkids, nieces and daughter. To occupy their time the kids played soccer and Hinman crocheted.
Many shoppers eagerly awaited Target's discounts.
"We arrived at Target at 11 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. We sat in our lawn chairs and we waited and we talked to different people," says Black Friday shopper Janeen Griffin.
That wasn't her first stop: After Target, Janeen Griffin and her three cousins headed to the mall at 6 a.m.
"We've been shopping all night!" Griffin says.
People aren't just buying a few small items. On Black Friday, it's about spending big money on bulk and big ticket items.
Griffin knew exactly what she wanted when she went to Target: The 40-inch TV for $298. She bought it and says she probably saved $200 on it.
Other shoppers in line at Target on Thanksgiving Day were also after the low-priced TVs.
Griffin says she spent $500 and saved $300 because she shopped on Black Friday. But are the deals worth getting up early for?
"Black Friday: It's worth it. Just for the appliances, the technology, gadgets, those things alone," says Griffin. She says the discounts on clothes are sometimes not worth getting up early for.
Not only does Black Friday shopping benefit the customers, the stores also gain from the spike in shopping.
Black Friday kicks of the holiday sales season, which runs from November through December. These sales can account for up to 50 percent of a store's sales and profits.
"Black Friday for the businesses means an opportunity for us to be able to go from actually if you're in the red maybe to an opportunity to get into the black," says Albany Mall's JCPenney Store Manager Joseph Iles.
JCPenney's store manager also says marketing materials prior to Black Friday creates even greater competition among the various stores.
Despite shoppers and employees being up way before the sun rose, everyone seemed to be in good spirits.
"We've had a ball! We've been out since about five and we went to Home Depot first and then we came to the mall," says Black Friday shopper Linda Widner.
Griffin says people were tired but everybody was congenial and having a good time.