Stores were Dee-E-Dee Dead! during traditional BF hours

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BFVet
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Stores were Dee-E-Dee Dead! during traditional BF hours

Postby BFVet » Fri Nov 29, 2013 5:20 pm

As a 15-ish year veteran of Black Friday, I'm not a fan of the early openings. I'm just not going to give up my Thanksgiving dinner with family for shopping. Even with midnight openings, that was pushing it because having dinner at 6:00, leaving at 8:00 to get in line isn't going to get you the hottest of the doorbuster items. Needless to say, doors opening at 6:00 or 8:00 would pretty much eliminate me from Thanksgiving dinner.

So I had a new philosophy for this year: (1) Buy what I could online; provided there were no shipping charges, (2) don't bother to even think about getting any "hot" items at the B&M stores; just ignore them in the ads, and (3) that means that pretty much everything I'm looking for is going to be available Friday morning; if it is in stock at midnight, it is likely to still be in stock at 5:00am.

So I finished up TG dinner around 8:30. I was going to go out to a few stores then, but got a phone call from family and talked for an hour our so. Ended up heading out around 9:30. Went to Walgreens, Michaels, Office Max, Staples, Macy's and Sears in about 2 hours. The stores were completely dead. I had one person in front of me to check out at Macy's; other than that I had my choice of registers when I was ready to pay. Got through those 6 stores in a couple hours and was in bed by midnight.

Got up at 5:00 and went out to Kohl's. Same story: no one in the store, my choice of checkout girls. From there it was on to Lowe's, which was dead at 5:30 despite opening at 5:00 and TRU, which was dead moving toward 6:00. After that, I went on to TigerDirect (the former CompUSA) which had opened at 5:00. I was worried about checkout lines there because in years past (with midnight openings) I had gotten stuck in 2 hour checkout lines. I was shocked when I pulled in to a parking lot that was 3/4 empty. Again, no wait for the checkouts.

After that, it was on to Gander Mountain which was actually relatively busy, but still only 2 people in front of me to check out. Headed to Petsmart about 7:15 and still got the free gift for the first 100 customers (they opened at 7:00). Left there and got to WalMart at 8:00. They still had several pallets of "special order" doorbuster clothing - not that that's saying much, and the store was empty. Had 40 checkout lines open and none of them checking anyone out. They even had an 8:00am iPhone "event" and there weren't more than 20 people in line at the electronics counter.

The only lines I finally ran into was at Kohl's around noon when I went back out shopping with the family. Kohl's had sales and coupons expiring at 1:00pm, so I think that added to the crowds. Actually had close to an hour check out line there.

So anecdotally, I don't think the super-early opening times worked for the retailers. I'll be interested in see the official reports, but it seems to me that (a) there is a smaller population of people willing to go out shopping on TG day from 6:00-8:00pm (compared to early Friday or midnight openings) and (b) those who aren't willing to go out TG day see no reason to hit the stores super-early on Friday. If the sale has already been going on for 9 hours at 5:00am, then it doesn't really matter whether you get to the store at 5:00am or 10:00am. Things that are in stock at 5:00 are likely to still be there at 10:00.

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Re: Stores were Dee-E-Dee Dead! during traditional BF hours

Postby newkirk32 » Fri Nov 29, 2013 7:00 pm

Walmart was packed at 6pm when we went, and still packed at 8pm when we went back for leftovers.

Drove by the mall at 8pm and it was packed

Best Buy at 10pm was moderately busy, but not too bad.

Went to JCPenney at 3:00 for the snowglobe and the mall was still really crowded. When we left at 5am still a steady crowd in the mall and at Kohls

Went to Target at 6am and it was pretty slow there

Petsmart had a line about 30 mins before opening at 7am for the stocking stuffer and for the 50% off kitty litter.

Traffic was still really bad on the way home


We went back out at lunchtime and traffic was a bit better

Went out again around 4pm and just like a normal day

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Re: Stores were Dee-E-Dee Dead! during traditional BF hours

Postby Tomfranklin » Fri Nov 29, 2013 7:02 pm

Brick and mortar stores dropped the ball this year despite probably getting decent sales online, they confused the shite out of everyone mixing sales around.

but I don't like this. most at my local Walmart on BF were grocery shopping.

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Re: Stores were Dee-E-Dee Dead! during traditional BF hours

Postby Vols44 » Fri Nov 29, 2013 7:24 pm

Interesting stories, please add more. I spot shopped at local businesses this morning and got most of what I wanted online yesterday. Having to be at work by 7:45 didn't leave me with the freedom to shop til I dropped.

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Re: Stores were Dee-E-Dee Dead! during traditional BF hours

Postby Mom22 » Fri Nov 29, 2013 7:35 pm

Overall, it was dead here, too. I'd done almost all of my shopping online, but still enjoy going out for BF. The only place we went that was not eerily slow for BF was Menards.

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Re: Stores were Dee-E-Dee Dead! during traditional BF hours

Postby teknoge3k » Fri Nov 29, 2013 8:51 pm

It's the same as shopping at midnight, or 7am. If you shop those same stores at midnight, by 2-3am the stores are going to be dead once the initial surge hits. If you go at 7am, by 9am the initial surge will be gone and the stores will be dead. It's no different with the earlier openings in my opinion. The initial surge hits, and then things calm down. I guess it all depends on your area.

Around here, things were super busy at the opening, and then once the initial surge of people come and got their items, the places died down. Judging by media reports, I honestly expect the numbers to be higher this year but we shall see. Anxious to see them!
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Re: Stores were Dee-E-Dee Dead! during traditional BF hours

Postby krazymop » Fri Nov 29, 2013 9:19 pm

My WM was busy at opening, but not as bad as I thought it would be. When I left around 7:30 (got the $98 TV and a few random items), I'd estimate maybe 1/4 of the spaces were empty. Went to Target at 8pm as they were letting people in. Line was not as long as I had expected. I don't usually go to Target at store opening though, so I can't really compare it to previous years.

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Re: Stores were Dee-E-Dee Dead! during traditional BF hours

Postby CrazyTrain » Fri Nov 29, 2013 11:01 pm

No place was that crowded here - 30 mins before Target opened the line was only at the end of the store. kohls was busy but easy to get around. This morning was easy. Biggest crowd was at BBB but I only had 1 person in front of me in line.

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Re: Stores were Dee-E-Dee Dead! during traditional BF hours

Postby buynstuff4fun » Fri Nov 29, 2013 11:23 pm

I too had the same philosophy this BF! I did the majority of my shopping online Wednesday night. I went out at 5am this morning, starting with Sears, and I had no wait times. When I went to old Navy - there was NOONE in line! The manager actually took a picture to prove it and started to send some of her staff home. I was out until about 11am, and the only busy store was Home Depot around 10:30. I didn't go to the mall though, purposefully, and would guess that things were busy there. Very weird, and different BF!

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Re: Stores were Dee-E-Dee Dead! during traditional BF hours

Postby buynstuff4fun » Fri Nov 29, 2013 11:32 pm

BTW - One thing I thought was strange this BF, is that I wasn't my normal prepared self for the online shopping. Yes - I had my BF shopping list, but I depend on the post-turkey time to look at the paper ads, go over my list one more time, and develop a final game plan. Now that the focus is shopping online, I felt a bit discombobulated when all the retailers started going live on Wed. It also made it harder to pick and choose deals. Next year, I'll have to adjust my pre-BF ritual a little earlier!

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Re: Stores were Dee-E-Dee Dead! during traditional BF hours

Postby drinkgreen » Sat Nov 30, 2013 12:42 am

teknoge3k wrote:It's the same as shopping at midnight, or 7am. If you shop those same stores at midnight, by 2-3am the stores are going to be dead once the initial surge hit.


This is true but I think the OP's original point is that it wasn't worth brick and mortar retailers to open up during middle of Thanksgiving, forcing their employees to miss out on family time. Yes, midnight openings lead to dead times in the middle of the night, but there won't be as many cranky customers and disgruntled employees who missed Thanksgiving for little reason.

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Re: Stores were Dee-E-Dee Dead! during traditional BF hours

Postby mechimpaired » Sat Nov 30, 2013 8:41 am

Yes they were! WM was normal with a little less people because there were no outlying parking lots occupied just the WM one. Usually there is a sea of cars around WM not this year still seemed normal inside butt to cart but I know the parking lot didn't expand so there must've been a few less peeps this year. Plus they had tons left over even late today!

Target had a line but I thought it was normal until you were inside shopping there was tons of personal bubble space! 5 different people checking out in front of me all had tvs and not much else. DH husband heard people cussing while in line at starbucks as they left because the big tv on doorbuster was gone because ofvery limited quantities.

Meijers was busier than any other year Friday at 6 am. It was very busy. JCPenney at 630 am still had snowglobes and the bella waffle maker I wanted.

I heard a different WM about 10 minutes away had EVERYTHING left because they had a sewage backup incident and everyone kept walking in and instantly leaving it was so bad.

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Re: Stores were Dee-E-Dee Dead! during traditional BF hours

Postby Sherezada » Sat Nov 30, 2013 10:07 am

Same experience here. We skipped the crowds on Thanksgiving. I sent hubby to WM at 10 pm to check if they had any safes left. There weren't any (the store initially only had 4), but he said it wasn't nearly as busy as he expected. He bought the toolbox for $89. Next morning I stopped by at around 9:30 am, and I was amazed at how organized everything was. Not a thing out of place. And it was "deader" than a normal day. I think it must have been the first time I didn't have to make a line at that store.

Not only did I find the last safe (someone probably left it before checking out), I also got a $28 price adjustment on hubby's toolbox, 'cause they had a Manager's special on it Friday morning (I assume due to having so many left from the night before).

It was pretty much the same experience on every other store I hit. Hardly anyone was out.

In fact, the only store where I saw some Black Friday madness and long lines was Kohl's, and it was probably because I hit it at around 12:30pm and the doorbusters' cutoff was 1 pm.

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Re: Stores were Dee-E-Dee Dead! during traditional BF hours

Postby lwmjr » Sat Nov 30, 2013 10:27 am

I mentioned in other threads, I am not a fan of shopping on Thanksgiving, Anyways I went to Office Max, (less than 2 miles from my house) at 8pm there was less than 30 cars in the parking lot, they share with Big Lots, Appx 15 people in line at OM, I was in and out with (my monitor) quick, Taking into consideration some of the cars belong to the workers, Not many shoppers, at either store
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Re: Stores were Dee-E-Dee Dead! during traditional BF hours

Postby bfaddict » Sat Nov 30, 2013 11:56 am

i noticed the same amount of crowds and i was in a completely different state. target line was about normal. kohls checkout line was the same as previous years if you can get in and out right away. there were long lines at the coach and north face outlet stores.
friday morning the store parking lots were still packed.

if the stores can continue to fill up their parking lots for extended hours of time i don't imagine they will cut back their sale hours.

i just wouldn't want to work from 2-6 am, that's gotta be one freaking long dead time.


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