FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (DC News Now) — The sight of people camping out outside of their favorite stores, ready to grab the best deals, became a Black Friday tradition, but that tradition and other shopping habits associated with the day after Thanksgiving have evolved.
That said, a lot of people still planned to hunt for bargains.
The National Retail Federation (NRF) said more than 166.3 million people would shop from Black Friday to Cyber Monday in 2022. The NRF also predicted that shopper turnout for the holiday weekend will be higher than what it was pre-pandemic.
Some shoppers, including Danielle Goldspiel and her daughter, Haidyn, were ready to brave the lines for the deals when we caught up with them on Thanksgiving Day.
“We went Thanksgiving night when we went together a couple of years ago, and it was less crazy than I thought,” Goldspiel said. “I’m down for the challenge, I think.”
Many stores started opening on Thanksgiving years ago, but, more recently, many have opted to stay closed on Thursday, and move back to a Black Friday opening for the start to the holiday shopping season.
Dee Marlow Dial and her husband Roger never understood the thrill or the reason behind the frenzy. Marlow Dial explained that she has never heard anyone say they had success while Black Friday shopping. Roger agreed, adding that no one ever told them they had fun while they were hunting for the best deals.
Oliver Diaz Lorenzo stopped going out for Black Friday deals around 2015. For him, the novelty of shopping in the overnight or early morning hours wore off.
“It was cool to be able to go to places that you didn’t normally, weren’t able to go at the same time,” Diaz Lorenzo said. “It just kind of lost that kind of spark after, you know, you do it a couple of times.”
Businesses such as Target, Costco, Best Buy, and Walmart were among those closed on Thanksgiving. Their doors were set to open at 5 a.m. or 6 a.m. on Black Friday.
The questions on many people’s minds, especially because many places offer deals throughout the month of November: Are there true Black Friday deals to be found? If so, are they really worth it?
“It makes no sense to get up early to fight the crowds. That was the original intent,” said Tim Hershberger of Alexandria, referencing that trend of retailers to start their deals on Thanksgiving. “Then, it creeps into November and October and you’ve been seeing Black Friday advertising now for months.”
Professor Ronald Hill at American University’s Kogod School of Business said it may take a few months for prices to drop again after Black Friday sales wrap up, which means the holiday weekend may be a good time to do some shopping.
“You find things’ prices relatively flat so it’s not a bad idea to buy now, because the expectation they’re going to drop precipitously in the future is probably not on the horizon,” Hill explained. “It may happen but it certainly may happen after the first of the [new] year.”