Black Friday arrives
By Howell Dennis
CROWLEY – Most economic experts agree that one critical factor to shoring up the economy is stimulating consumer spending.
With today, known as Black Friday, being the busiest shopping day of the year, the retail industry is hoping for a blockbuster day to do just that.
It’s on this day when hundreds of people line up outside retail stores to get those early morning sales.
A recent national survey says the average customer is expected to spend just over $800 this holiday season the smallest annual increase since 2002.
After a tough economic year, consumers are planning on taking advantage of the discounts, and waiting to do their shopping until after Thanksgiving.
Flat panel TV sales are expected to jump with prices falling nearly 30 percent since 2007.
By far, however, the most in-demand gifts are expected to be the hands-on video games Rock Band and Guitar Hero.
No matter if you’re a competitive shopper looking for the best price at a budget store, or going to the Mall of Acadiana, plan on opening the doors bright and early.
The Mall of Acadiana will open their doors at 6 a.m. The lines really occur at the department stores who hold their own hours. A few of the department stores will be open at 4 a.m., some will open at 5 a.m.
At the Stage department store in Crowley, workers are bracing for a busy day this Friday.
“Oh yes, it should be crazy,” said Stage manager Andrea Simon. “We will be opening at seven that morning.”
Simon also mentioned that the decrease in sales that the rest of the country is experiencing doesn’t seem to have affected her business.
“We haven’t noticed any difference at all,” she said.
Sales at the Mall of Acadiana have been up since October. However, stores are still offering deep discounts in a free holiday coupon book, as they try to get as much traffic in their stores as possible.
Despite the economy, both mall and retail representatives say they do expect a crowd on Friday with some stores opening up as early as 3 am.
Some tips for you if you plan on coming out this weekend...they recommend having a cell phone with you at all times, remembering where you park and also doing some online research before you come out and try and get those sales.