LOS ANGELES (CBSLA/AP) — Shoppers were out before dawn for fun and for deals, as retailers that have had a tough year were hoping to bring customers to their stores and websites for Black Friday, one of the biggest shopping days of the year.
Black Friday has morphed from a single day when people got up early to score doorbusters into a whole season of deals, so shoppers may feel less need to be out. Some love the excitement, even if they’ve already done some of their shopping online.
One Anaheim couple had already found quite a few deals by 5 a.m. at the Citadel Outlets in Commerce, including a $20 Takeya water bottle that usually retails for about $40, by the time they ended up at the Disney Store, where a line had formed outside to get into the store.
A shopper who identified himself as Matt said he believed that, despite the hype over Black Friday, he saved a lot of money.
“I think we took a risk, and said, ‘you know what, we’re just going to load up on caffeine, and see what happens.’ And it’s paid off,” he said.
The shift to online buying will be a factor as industry analysts watch closely at how the nation’s malls are faring for the start of the holiday shopping season.
More than 100,000 shoppers descended on the Citadel Outlets overnight, and its stable of 130 stores will remain open until 11 p.m. Friday night. But finding in-store deals won’t keep these shoppers from also indulging online.
With the jobless rate at a 17-year-low of 4.1 percent and consumer confidence stronger than a year ago, analysts project healthy sales increases for November and December. The National Retail Federation trade group expects sales for that period to at least match last year’s rise of 3.6 percent and estimates online spending and other non-store sales will rise 11 to 15 percent.
Analysts at Bain say Amazon is expected to take half of the holiday season’s sales growth. And Amazon is the top destination for people to begin holiday shopping, according to a September study by market research firm NPD Group.
About 69 percent of Americans, or 164 million people, intend to shop at some point during the five-day period from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday, according to a survey released by the NRF. It expects Black Friday to remain the busiest day, with about 115 million people planning to shop then.
Large shopping centers like the Citadel Outlets and the Glendale Galleria will remain open late Friday night, but shoppers and retailers are already looking ahead to Cyber Monday.
Target says everything on its site will be 15 percent off on Monday, and it will offer discounts throughout the week on specific categories, such as 40 percent off towels and bedding on Tuesday. Amazon’s deals on its gadgets were similar to its Black Friday ones, such as 40 percent off its voice-activated Echo Dot. But it added other deals, such as 30 percent off Lego sets and 50 percent off certain Hasbro toys, such as Nerf and Play-doh.
Walmart, meanwhile, says it has tripled the assortment of products it had online from last year. It’ll offer thousands of deals, it says. Among them: 40 percent off a voice-activated Google Home Mini, $100 off the Barbie Hello Dreamhouse and $90 off the Xbox One S video console.
Shoppers are expected to spend $6.6 billion on Cyber Monday, up 16 percent from last year, according to Adobe Analytics.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)