OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – Waves of shoppers crashed onto commerce beach Friday morning as Black Friday ushered in one of the busiest days of the year for America’s retailers.
Even with expanding boundaries for the holiday shopping season, this is the official big spending launch to the season.
Crowds lined up in the dark at Cabela’s in La Vista waiting for the doors to open. The leaders in the line told WOWT 6 News that they had been camped out there since Wednesday afternoon.
By Friday morning, they were at the head of a line that wrapped around the building, past a parking lot filled with cars. Tents and heaters helped the hardy manage the elements.
We spoke with the guy leading that parade of campers – asked him for his secrets: “I been sleeping in my tent, on my cot in a sleeping bag,” he said. “And a heater.”
Nebraska Furniture Mart saw a big start to the day with a campground of its own – bundled shoppers, some in tents, with dreams of electronics dancing in their heads. “We came to get just some good deals like a PlayStation 4 with a gift card and some things for a house that we’re building,” said Stacy Schindler.
“We got in pretty much right away,” said Jeff Schindler. “The line went around the building, but it was moving pretty quickly. So we pretty much immediately got in.”
Another customer was on a quest for “a Fuji camera and a PS4.” This was her rookie year for a parking lot prelude to shopping and the jury was still out on whether it will be added to her holiday traditions. “Depends how, when I get in there, how that’s going to go.”
Our cameras captured busy checkout lines just minutes into the day’s business. Shoppers told us they were finding great deals.
Some hit the field solo. For others it was a family affair. “My daughter and me,” one said. “I’ve been waiting a long time. It’s good. I’m so happy.”
Many stores across the country are offering the same deals as in previous years, like $19.99 boots that remain a big attraction, cashmere sweaters, and sheets. For some shoppers, big discounts on electronics are the draw.
Stores like Macy’s, Walmart, Target and more were open Thursday evening in what they hope will be a new holiday tradition. Several shoppers were out looking for bargains on TVs. Other items that drew crowds were cellphones and Hatchimals – eggs with a small, animated animal inside that hatch when given attention.
Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, vies with the Saturday before Christmas as the biggest sales day.