By Brittany Hanson/Garden Grove Journal
As the clock ticked closer to midnight on Thanksgiving, crowds of people huddled outside stores in the Garden Grove-Stanton-Westminster area (and around the country) waiting to get a rush on the biggest buying day of the year, Black Friday. As the crowds piled in to the stores, the numbers began to jump.
This year, according to ShopperTrak.com, overall sales in the U.S. have jumped 6.6 percent, in spite of the deep economic recession.
This is $11.40 billion in retail purchases and the biggest dollar amount ever spent during the day, Retail foot-traffic rose accordingly, increasing by 5.1 percent over Black Friday 2010.
According to Shoppertrak, the whole of November was improved for large retailers in sales on account of a trend for extended hours and pre and post Friday promotion sales.
In Westminster at 11:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving, Christina Acevedo was wrapped in a blanket and shivering at her post as the first person in line for Target at the Westminster Mall.
“I’m here with my family, we’ve been taking shifts since 7 p.m.,” said Acevedo, “they (Target) handed out tickets so we could be sure to get what we wanted.”
Jackie, a Target team leader who declined to give her last name, said that she was excited for the shopping to begin this year. A veteran of Black Friday store management, Jackie said that the line was 3,000 plus strong and growing, a good sign for the day.
Black Friday, so named because it’s the day when when retailers are finally “in the black” for the year, is the opening mark for the biggest shopping season of the year.
Paulo Bayas, an employee of Best Buy in Westminster, said that it was going to be a busy night and weekend, judging by the line of customers wrapped around the building, waiting to get in.
“I’ve worked Black Friday for the last three years, it never gets old. People are yelling a lot and there is a lot of action, but it is worth it,” said Bayas minutes before beginning his 12-hour shift.
Hopeful buyer Layla Tahuildani of Garden Grove had been camped out with her family overnight to secure her place in line. Tahuildani and her mother were hoping to purchase a Blue-Ray player and a new TV.
“I always shop Black Friday, I’ve been doing this for the last four years. This is definitely not my first time,” said Tahuildani.
“Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year and the traditional start to the holiday shopping season,” said ShopperTrak founder Bill Martin in a press release, “Despite our sluggish economy, shoppers proved they are looking for value and ready to buy if given a good customer experience.
This is the largest year-over-year gain in ShopperTrak’s National Retail Sales Estimate for Black Friday since the 8.3 percent increase we saw between 2007 and 2006. Still, it’s just one day. It remains to be seen whether consumers will sustain this behavior through the holiday shopping season. ”