Online shopping may be thinning crowds at retail stores, but they aren’t absent. Shoppers are still in for a good deal, and that’s what Black Friday -- the day after Thanksgiving -- is all about.
“This morning, traffic is really good. It’s not overwhelming, but we’re really steady,” Shirley Henderson, the store manager of a Kmart in South Carolina, told International Business Times. "The customers were coming in when I left last night, and they’re still here this morning."
The world’s biggest retailers Friday once again came out with big deals for the annual shopping bonanza. For instance, Kmart sold a camera drone for $59.99, originally priced at $99.99, and discounted “Star Wars” lightsabers and action figures 50 percent. Walmart offered a $100 saving on the iPhone 6S as well as deals for iPads and other tablets.
And once again, retailers extended store hours. Toys R Us opened 5 p.m. Thursday and will not close until 11 p.m. Friday at some locations. Targets opened at 6 p.m. Thursday and close midnight Saturday.
And the fights between customers carried on nationwide. “Oh my God” and “Let’s get out of here” can be heard in a police video taken at a Walmart in Atlanta Thursday night, Fox News reported. Shoppers brawled inside a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, large-screen televisions in hand:
— yung wifi (@DaddyWeaknd) November 27, 2015
Simultaneously, online shopping is on the rise. Shoppers in the United States spent more than $1 billion online Thursday between midnight and 5 p.m., according to data from the Adobe Digital Index, which tracked 100 million visits to 4,500 sites, Reuters reported.
Some of those online shoppers include those who went out Friday. “I shopped online yesterday and picked up most of what I wanted," Nia Darrell, a 23-year-old student at a Macy’s in Chicago, told Reuters. “I'm out because Black Friday is more like a tradition, but the discounts are similar even online this year."
Even with exclusive sales from those same big retailers moving online, doors are still busting. Indeed, the “doorbuster” deals at Kmart drew eager shoppers into the retail giant. “The doorbusters went really well," Henderson, the manager of the South Carolina store, told IBT. "The only doorbuster that didn’t do well was the 58-inch TV, but the 32-inch TVs, the tablets, the drones, they’re almost all gone.”
Retail stores have staffed up and stocked up for the holiday. Indeed, “Star Wars” merchandise filled the front and back shelves of a Toys R Us in Orlando, Florida. One clerk told IBT about the "bunch of stuff stocked" at the location, adding: “I’m sure there will be some missing, but there’s plenty more to choose from.”
Some stores, however, have taken a stand against Thanksgiving shopping -- both online and offline. Both H&M and Staples for the first time were closed on Thanksgiving this year, The Washington Post reported. Yet they were open Friday. REI, however, decided to push a movement against the annual shopping day by closing its retail stores Friday and not processing any online orders until Saturday. “We’re not here,” REI’s website reads, and the company is promoting the hashtag #OptOutside:
— REI (@REI) November 27, 2015
Thousands of shoppers have followed suit. The hashtag has been used at least 10,000 times on Twitter over the past 24 hours, according to data from social anaytics company Topsy. REI tallied over 1 million people following the movement, according to its website.