Shoppers gearing up for Black Friday rush

November 19, 2012

Across the Delaware Valley and Lehigh Valleys, people are hitting stores like the Toys R Us in West Deptford, New Jersey early, mostly to avoid the large crowds at the end of the week.

"I'm not coming out in the craziness on Friday," Stacy Kichline of Magnolia, NJ told me, "because it's insane. People are getting hurt now when they go. Forget it."

It's tradition for many to set up camp and sleep or even have a Thanksgiving Day meal in line to be one of the first to get those door-busting deals on Friday.

But now there seems to be a new tradition: stores are offering deep discounts much earlier.

"I think a lot of places are getting a jump on it," said Kichline. "Even Amazon is sending out their Black Friday deals early so you can get your shopping in online."

Almost half of all Americans are expected to shop this weekend, and retailers are getting ready.

But big-box chain Walmart could be headed for some trouble.

Employees at 1000 locations are planning to strike, angry over wages and having to work on Thanksgiving.

Walmart says the striking workers represent a very small minority and the company, which is opening its doors at 8:00 p.m. Thursday, is ready to offer deals, like this year's hot items: a $45 dollar Furby doll, and a 32-inch TV for $198!

"What our customers have told us," said Walmart's Steven Restivo, is that "they want to have flexibility on when they want to come out and shop."

And if anyone knows early, it's Warren O'Connell of Bridesburg who took advantage of Walmart's layaway program and started his holiday shopping in April.

"It's pandemonium when you try to wait until Black Friday," he told me. "This way you alleviate the whole headache. You get it early and it's somewhere stored safe 'til your pick up date and that's it."

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