Black Friday Deals Ignite Shoppers

Black Friday Deals – Black Friday started early this year as stores moved back their opening times for deals on Thanksgiving night, and in some cases, shoppers said they either came for the specials or arrived to extend their holiday celebrations. For retailers, it can be the highest sales day of the year, and is a barometer for what they need to do the rest of the season.

With a strong Black Friday, they can generally keep their prices up and assume that their holiday inventory will sell, while with a weak Friday, they have to start marking down holiday merchandise to get enough of it out the door by Christmas.

At Macy’s Herald Square store, store representatives estimated 9,000 people were waiting outside for its midnight opening, more than in the last couple of years, when it opened in the early morning. The crowd appeared to be young, a demographic Macy’s hoped to appeal to with the earlier opening.

Kester Richards, 18, was at the front of the line and said he had been waiting for four hours. Richards said he was a regular Macy’s shopper, and was looking for Ralph Lauren clothes, but had never been to Black Friday before.

Kyun Il Bae, 21, and In Jung Choi, 21, both South Korean students studying in New York, said they had heard about the event and wanted to see what it was like. “I just like the atmosphere,” Bae said. “It’s a popular place, and I heard this is crazy.”

After the crowds were inside, a group of about 15 protesters began shouting “Occupy it, don’t buy it” in front of the Broadway entrance. Security guards stood at the doors, but did not try to stop the demonstration. One protester, Teddy Tamirat, made his way into the Macy’s foyer and, after saying “Welcome to Macy’s,” told guests not to spend money there until a guard asked him to leave.

Analysts said the midnight openings were part marketing — it creates excitement around the sales — and part a reflection of the economy, which has stores competing hard for customers.