Stores prepare for Black Friday rush
GRAND CHUTE, Wis. (WBAY) - This year’s post-Thanksgiving weekend is expected to be the busiest for retailers since 2017, with more than 166 million Americans likely to shop. That’s 8 million more people than last year.
Store owners spent Wednesday preparing for the rush.
On the day before Thanksgiving, Black Friday weekend had stores, like Lillian’s on College Ave. in Appleton, filled with anticipation of what’s to come.
“We’re hoping it’s going to be crazy,” Kara Manuel said. “It’s going to be a beautiful day weather-wise. The weather is going to be good, and I think people have been gearing up and kind of waiting to see what the sales are, kind of waiting to see what’s new, what’s happening, and I think there’s a lot of people visiting. We’re seeing that today, a lot of people coming into town.”
It was the same story a few doors down at the Eco Candle Company, where owner Shelly Nystrom told us, “Saturday we will have a line to the door all day long.”
While many people will hit the big box stores and the mall on Friday, Small Business Saturday is typically the busiest for downtown merchants.
“People are ready to get back into stores. Last year and the year before we did a ton of pickup orders, like buy online, pick up in store, or just online orders, and we’re seeing a definite increase in people coming in,” Nystrom said.
According to the National Retail Federation, more than 166 million people will shop from Black Friday through Cyber Monday.
Federation president/CEO Matthew Shay said, “166 million, that’s more than we’ve ever seen. It’s almost ten million more than last year, and our forecast is 6 to 8 percent growth for the holiday season, which is tracking our annual forecast.”
“What is different, we’re going to see promotions like we haven’t seen in a long time. Retailers need to move inventory. It’s going to be a late Christmas, given that Christmas is on a Sunday,” Telsey Advisory Group chief research officer Dana Telsey said.
A survey conducted shows 67 percent of Black Friday business will come from in-person shopping. That’s up by 3 percent over last year and the most since before the pandemic.
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