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Some Shoppers, Businesses Opting out of Black Friday

RALEIGH—While many retailers are gearing up for Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales this week, some businesses and shoppers are taking the opposite approach.

Christie Burris with the North Carolina Retail Merchants Association says this year, some retailers are not just focusing on Black Friday but rather following customer intent over the long weekend to have special offers available when their customers want to shop.

Some shoppers were already hopping on the holiday deals Wednesday to avoid the hustle and bustle later on this week.

“We wanted to avoid the Black Friday shoppers and the craziness that goes on,” said shopper Eloise Jordan.

“Trying to avoid the crowds and just have better service because there are fewer shoppers in the stores,” said shopper Patt Chrissman.

With a few stores opening on Thanksgiving Day this year, it has become too much for some.

“I think we’ve just forgotten about the holidays and just gone for the shopping,” said shopper Kathryn Pierce.

While it’s considered one of the busiest days in the year for the retail industry, some businesses are opting out of Black Friday this year.

REI is closing its stores on Black Friday and paying its 12,000 employees to take the day off.

“I hope that everyone really takes advantage of this holiday season to spend it with your family, to enjoy the idea of being outdoors in those places that you love,” said REI President and CEO Jerry Stritzke.

While some are shunning the shopping days, Burris expects North Carolinians to still spend this holiday season.

“With the more favorable tax climate in North Carolina, we believe that retail sales during the holiday shopping season could increase between four and five percent in our state,” she said.

The National Retail Federation‘s preliminary survey predicts nearly 136 million people will shop Thanksgiving Day through the holiday weekend.

Article by: Carly Swanson, Time Warner Cable News

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