The biggest shopping day of the year became a two-day event last week, as shoppers were able to get into stores late Thanksgiving night.
One of those residents eager to start holiday shopping was 28-year-old Melanie Garland, of Northwest Tucson.
Garland said the 2011 Black Friday is definitely one she will never forget. Her trip started at 6 p.m. Thursday night, standing in line at Toys “R” Us. After the toy store, she and her group went on to Wal-Mart, then to Target where the shopping day took an unexpected turn.
“At Target I felt sick, and ended up throwing up all over everything,” she said. “After I threw up, I felt better, and just continued shopping.”
Happy with the Black Friday deals, Garland said she finished shopping around 7:45 a.m. Friday morning.
Besides a good deal on a Cricut, and Blu-ray Disk player, Garland said, as usual, there was plenty of drama at Wal-Mart. With people pushing, shoving and trying to steal from each other’s carts, Garland said you always have to be on guard at Wal-Mart.
While Garland is obviously a seasoned Wal-Mart shopper on Black Friday, Marana resident James DeVoy was surprised at how people behave.
DeVoy went to Wal-Mart on Cortaro Road because of the advertised deals on video games.
“What a mistake,” he said. “And, now I remember why I don’t normally engage in this stupidity. No line, let everyone mob around the one pallet of video games that are advertised 50 percent off.”
While some were not happy about their Black Friday experience, including a large group of people who were pepper sprayed in California, the National Retail Federation said sales were up nationwide this year.
According to the NRF, consumers spent a record high of $52 billion, mostly thanks to early-bird shoppers heading out on Thanksgiving Day.
“Stuffed to the brim from their holiday meals and eager to shop, more consumers than ever turned out for retailers’ Black Friday promotions, a promising sign for the economic recovery,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “After an historic holiday weekend, retailers know the holiday season is far from over and will continue to look for ways to excite holiday shoppers and build on the momentum we’ve seen thus far.”
According to the survey, a record 226 million shoppers visited stores and websites over Black Friday weekend, up from 212 million last year. The average holiday shopper spent $398.62 this weekend, up from $365.34 last year.
The survey found 28.7 million people shopped online and at stores on Thanksgiving Day – up from 22.2 million last year.