Consumers, retailers brace for holiday shopping season

Black Friday shoppers camp outside stores

DALLAS – The holiday shopping season kicks-off in a few days. Marketing experts predict this holiday shopping season is going to be very interesting.

Several shoppers are already camping out in front of Best Buy in Garland, Texas.

"We’ve done this for a couple of years now,” April Garcia said. Her family has been camping out for Black Friday specials over 12 years.

“We’re here for the 50-inch Sharp TV,” April said.

Garcia and her brother Andy say their family does not play around when it comes to Black Friday shopping. They have been preparing early as part of a tradition. However, the family says it is a little surprised only one other shopper is camping out behind them, and it’s so close to the holiday.

“It’s only Tuesday, and there’s still like two more days left that people can come and line up," Andy Garcia said.

Many shoppers know the landscape is different when it comes to the excitement around Black Friday. Experts say attitudes around what used to be the biggest shopping day of the year have changed.

Ed Fox is a professor of marketing at Southern Methodist University Cox School of Business.

"I don’t think you are going to see malls overflowing the way they did, perhaps, some years back,” Fox explained.

He says big retailers are competing more and more with online competitors, like Amazon and others. Add to that, Black Friday prices have been available, in some cases, since early November. That is making more traffic virtual.

“I think that department stores are still struggling,” Fox explained. “Department stores among the retailers I looked at are really aggressively promoting this season.”

Workers in Best Buy are busy preparing for the Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday crowds. They know shoppers will try taking advantage of Door Buster deals and other sales.

Ruben Flores is a manager at Best Buy. "Two hours before the store opens, we will be asking customers what door buster deals they are looking to get," Flores said. 

Marketing experts say because of the competition across retail platforms, bargains will be available. Fox says you can be a savvy shopper and hunt for deals or you can be an efficient shopper.

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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