Shoppers Hit Stores Hard

By: Michael Gorsegner
By: Michael Gorsegner

November 24, 2006

Black Friday opened up the holiday season with a bang as shoppers flooded stores from Belk to Barracks.

The sweet sound of sales rang about as shoppers lined up to pay up on Black Friday. Women buying purses at Belk in Fashion Square Mall are part of the nearly 137 million shoppers nationwide expected to hit the stores.

"It's a little hectic. It's a little hectic but the sales are good so you just come out and get a break on the price," said shopper Justin Wunderler.

Wunderler ventured out to buy toys to donate to the Salvation Army. He says while the malls were crowded, this day enables him to get more bang for his buck.

"You get a good deal so if you can't spend that much money, you get double the items," he said.

"We're from the D.C. area and it is really crowded and nasty there so we are shopping at this nice mall," said Susan Frye.

Frye and her husband drove from D.C. to Fashion Square in search of a good deal and a little less foot traffic.

"We got some good bargain and there are some things on sale that we weren't expected to be on sale. We got some things for my step daughter for Christmas. The selection was good here," she said.

And with shoppers expected to spend $450 billion leading up to Christmas, retailers are beginning to see green.

"That is when you really pay the bills for everything that you have done all year long. It really pays the salaries and everything considered from here on out," said Belk Store Manager Jack Dickerson.

Retailers say they hope cars will continue to line the parking lot here making for a profitable holiday season. And while this isn't the busiest shopping day of the year, it is the unofficial kickoff to Christmas.

The Nation Retail Federation estimates shoppers will spend five percent more this holiday season than last year.

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