Just after dawn on Black Friday, Matthew Pettigrow pulled into a Best Buy parking lot in South Portland and had no trouble finding parking near the store entrance.
There were no throngs of shoppers vying for doorbuster sales, and the parking lots of many retailers in the main mall area were nearly empty. Did.
“It’s completely different,” said Pettigrew, a Lymington native who was shopping with her mother, Heather Collins.
They were ready to head to the mall at midnight, but waited until nearly 7 a.m. when they realized the stores didn’t open early. I was planning on using the deal to get some PlayStation 5 games and buy myself a laptop.
“It’s cheaper today,” he said. “I like to save money.”
Despite the slow start in-person, a record-breaking shopping weekend is expected. The National Retail Federation, the largest retail group, estimates that 166.3 million people plan to shop between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, including his 114.9 million on Black Friday. .
Inflation is slowing, but soaring prices for food, gas, kerosene, housing and other necessities have hit many shoppers. are reluctant to use , and may shop at cheaper stores than before.
The National Retail Federation expects year-end sales growth of between 6% and 8%, well below last year’s blazing 13.5% growth. However, these figures, which include online spending, are not adjusted for inflation, so actual spending could even be lower than a year ago, the Associated Press reported.
Many retailers have moved away from the doorbuster deal and are focusing on online sales that run from the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving through to Christmas.
Collins, who lives in Standish, understands why many shop for holiday sales online, but when it comes to choosing gifts for grandchildren and others, she wanders the store.
“It’s more fun to shop in person and see the products,” she said. “You get it now.”
In Freeport, persistent rain seemed to depress the usual crowd the day after Thanksgiving.
After stopping by the store on Friday afternoon, Scott Helsmoorter said he was done with his Christmas shopping for the season as there was only one store left.
Helsmoorter, from Saugerties, New York, said he follows the same routine every year. He traveled to Kittery, then Black on Friday he traveled to Freeport, after which he finished his holiday shopping. That’s also what he did last year as the COVID-19 pandemic was gaining momentum again, and he said he wasn’t worried about the resurgence of flu this year or the warning of a particularly tough season.
“I’m more worried about the economy,” he said, as inflation pushed prices higher and he worried about a possible recession.
Marian and Jim Gilbert of Hingham, Massachusetts, picked up some stuff at LL Bean for their six children and 15 grandchildren on Friday morning. According to Maryann Gilbert, her holiday shopping was completed in about an hour.
“I have it all,” she said triumphantly.
Htrang Pham of Falmouth said he did a lot of holiday shopping on Friday morning but will postpone the rest until the weather improves or at least dries.
Saco’s Shannon Haskell was a little surprised to find the main mall parking lot empty early Friday morning. When she went to bed on Thursday, she wasn’t going to Black her Friday shopping. But her teenage son was up at 4am to go shopping with her friends, so she walked out the door too.
“I was awake, so I thought I’d go shopping,” she said as she loaded electronics for her sons into the back seat of the SUV.
By 9am, many shoppers with bags from multiple stores were traversing the mall. Jamie Gallant, who was visiting from New Hampshire, went shopping with his sister and niece. She said she plans to spend less on her vacations this year as her household expenses have increased.
“I’m definitely looking for these hot deals,” she said.
The atmosphere at the Bull Moose store in Scarborough was decidedly sober, opening at 8am to sell a special Record Store Day vinyl release. Store manager Joshua Douglas said his second person in line arrived at 6:30 a.m.
Douglas says that in his 25 years in the business, he’s found himself moving away from the rush of Black Friday shopping that used to make headlines.
“People are very relaxed around holiday shopping now,” he said.
Scott Leavitt of Biddeford came in to pick up a limited edition Record Store Day edition of the Jerry Garcia Band’s 1991 show in Hampton, Virginia. He wasn’t planning on doing his Friday in-person shopping with other Blacks.
“I’m more of an online shopper, but this one appeals to me,” he said.
Falmouth night closure required for I-295 bridge project
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