Local

Shoppers already lining up for deals

Thursday, November 24, 2011

This year, retailers are extending hours and offering free gifts - and shoppers seem ready to hit the stores.

Twelve hours before its midnight opening Thursday, nearly a hundred people were already lined up outside the Best Buy in River Park.

"I mean a 42-inch TV for $199. That's kind of unheard of so, you can't pass it up," Marisa Oduno of Fresno said.

"I want a 42-inch Sharp TV they have for a hundred something and a laptop," Victoria Loya of Fresno said.

Loya calls herself a dedicated Black Friday shopper.

She scored her place in line Wednesday afternoon and says the time is well spent.

"People think we're crazy, but we're not because after the deals are over, then the TVs are still on sale, but not for this price," she said.

According to an Action News poll conducted by SurveyUSA, 13-percent of holiday shoppers plan on spending more this year. 48 percent say they'll spend less. 37 percent of people polled say their spending will remain the same.

"So, how do you control the spending? I don't even know if I have the control. I won't know until I get in there," Jackie Lopez of Fresno said.

"We usually set aside and that's x-amount, that's what we're going to spend. We can't go no more, no less," Edward Avila of Fresno said.

It's that budget mindset which has forced retailers to compete even more.

This year stores have either stayed open on Thanksgiving or will welcome customers inside before midnight.

Some are even offering free gifts.

Marketing expert Dr. William Rice says the goal is to jump start holiday shopping early and make it last for the rest of the year.

"The consumers only have so many dollars and the retailers are going to say we've got to get the dollars from them as soon as possible, and get our name, our mind, our image, our product variety in their heads, so they're willing to come back," Rice said.

If you're looking to shop on Thanksgiving night, stores like Best Buy and Target at River Park will be open at midnight.

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