As much of the nation was recovering from the gastronomic surfeit of Thanksgiving, many Americans eagerly partook in a less sedate pastime by pitching tents outside Best Buys and Walmarts.
Veritable hordes waited during the wee hours Friday for early openings at big-box stores that were offering deep discounts on plasma TVs, small appliances and other consumer goods.
“It’s been a very good day for us,” said Ben Delong, a PC sales manager at Ultimate Electronics on West Bowles Avenue.
Delong said 200 to 300 bargain hunters waited in line for the store’s 5 a.m. opening on Black Friday, the unofficial kickoff of holiday shopping. Though the day was busier than in years past, Delong said, the store was prepared for the madness.
“We really plan ahead on this stuff,” he said. “We have a certain number of vouchers. So we worked the line ahead of time and let people know what we have. … It was pretty pacified.”
Lagging behind the door-busters were people searching more cautiously for deals. Many waited until the afternoon or evening to venture out, and they often went to several stores to compare deals before making purchases.
“We buy stuff that’s basically for both of us,” said South Jeffco resident Glenn Davis, as he inspected washers and dryers at Ultimate Electronics with his wife, Barbara. “It’s more of a deal today.”
The couple had already been to another store to look at similar products and hadn’t spent anything so far. Davis said the economy hasn’t affected their shopping, as he still has his job.
“Fortunately for me, nothing financial has changed,” he said.
But for some, the economy factored heavily into what they bought.
“My husband got laid off back in March,” said Carol Rosberg, whose son Adam was looking for new ski boots at Colorado Ski and Golf on West Crestline Avenue. “I don’t like going out shopping year-round. If I get something, I’ll know what I want and I’ll go get it,” Rosberg said of Black Friday sales, which she generally avoids. “I don’t go (shopping) just to go.”
With a few weeks of shopping remaining before the holidays, the impact of the seasonal buying on the economy has yet to take a definite shape.
“My holiday shopping is usually done on the 23rd (of December),” said South Jeffco resident Randy Kaufman, as he and his son Elliot tried out putters at Colorado Ski and Golf. “It’s always tough to figure out what to get everybody.” Despite his admitted procrastination, Kaufman said he couldn’t resist Friday’s sales.
“We were over at Ultimate Electronics,” he said. He brought home “a washer, dryer and then a TV,” he said.
“Two TVs!” Elliot corrected. Extra quotes:
“I would normally spend more than I am going to spend today. Today we went to Best Buy and Target, and we came up to Southwest Plaza.” — Michelle Larsen of South Jeffco, who was shopping at Southwest Plaza with her family. The economy is a factor in her decreased spending, she said.
“I went to Macy’s, Dillards and Target.”
“I’m shopping the sales.”
“Clothes, small appliances, toys for the grandkids.”
“I bought a keyboard for myself.” – Irene Fair of Littleton, who was holiday shopping at Southwest Plaza. She said she is planning to spend slightly more this year than she did last year.
“We’re looking at their TVs.”
“Probably around 300 bucks.” — Richard Martinez, about how much he will spend on holiday gifts this year. He was shopping with his wife, Tina Martinez, at Ultimate Electronics. The couple said they are going to spend significantly less this year due to the economy.