A new and different Black Friday

Kohl's Department Store at Bay Park Square Mall, minutes after opening at 5 A.M. on Black Friday
Kohl's Department Store at Bay Park Square Mall, minutes after opening at 5 A.M. on Black Friday(WBAY)
Published: Nov. 26, 2021 at 11:40 AM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - It’s Black Friday, traditionally the largest shopping day of the year. Like years past, countless people woke up early. Some camped out in parking lots or along sidewalks to be in front of the mad dash when the doors opened, to be the first to get huge discounts on holiday must-have items.

But this year is different. The lines were around the corner instead of around the building, there were more lawn chairs than tents, and the dashes were a little less mad.

Many retailers have been promoting sales at “Black Friday” prices all month -- some since October -- spreading out the holiday shopping season by weeks.

Local shopping malls didn’t drastically change their hours of operation for Black Friday this year. The Fox River Mall in Grand Chute opened at 9 A.M. and will close at 9 P.M. Bay Park Square Mall in Ashwaubenon opened early at 6 A.M. but is closing at a regular time of 9 P.M. Anchor stores with their own entrances may set their own hours, such as Kohl’s Department Store, which opened at 5 A.M. and will stay open until midnight; pre-pandemic it stayed open through the wee hours.

Not only are we dealing with the pandemic, but supply chain issues and inflation are at 30-year highs. Shoppers were advised to expect fewer deals Friday. Some items are actually 5 to 17 percent more expensive than a year ago, and more items are likely to be out of stock.

Experts recommend getting creative with your Christmas gifts this year.

“People are buying more conscientiously now, in a sense that people go and shop for vintage, for example, or reusable clothing,” Nancy Wong, a University of Wisconsin-Madison professor of economic science, said.

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