Some stores have been open for several hours by now, and thousands of customers have snapped up the early Black Friday specials for Christmas.
Wednesday’s newspapers were fat with Black Friday ads. Last night, thousands of Missourians staked out positions on sidewalks and in store parking lots, waiting until a store manager unlocked the doors and scrambled out of the way.
President David Overfelt of the Missouri Retailers Association says merchants expect improved sales for the second year in a row after a couple of down years..He expects buyers to spend an average of $700 dollars today on gifts for friends, relatives, themselves, and charities.
He expects a six percent increase in the number of shoppers in the stores today and while retailers are cautious about forecasting how well they’ll do in the full Christmas shopping season, they think the full season’s sales will be about 2.8 percent greater than last year.
Overfelt says it’s hard to guess what the hot toy of the year will be, but it’s likely to be more high tech than last year’s toy—and it’s likely to be snatched up by one of the earlybird shoppers.
This traditionally is considered the busiest shopping day of the year. But the International Council of Shopping Centers says it usually ranks somewhere between fourth and eighth. The busiest days are usually in the week before Christmas.