INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — The line of people flowed nonstop for nearly 15 minutes after employees opened the door to Bass Pro Shops in Independence at 5 a.m. on Black Friday.
Shoppers lined up outside the retail store beginning at 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving. The store offered doorbuster deals during a six-hour sale from 5-11 a.m. Friday to lure shoppers through the door.
“I'm here for a big-ticket item for my son, who is 11,” said one of the first shoppers in line, boasting that she’ll save $200 on the not-to-be-named item.
The National Retail Federation said Black Friday isn’t the kickoff to holiday shopping like it once was, but it is still very popular. The organization predicted about 113 million Americans would shop in store or online today — the most of any day between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday.
“I know people still like to pitch Black Friday against Cyber Monday. Or take one day out of the weekend that is the big sale day of the year," said Katherine Cullen, the senior director of industry and consumer insights at the National Retail Federation. "Really, that is not how consumers shop. It is much more fluid. It is really a five-day shopping event."
Sales on clothes and electronics attract the most shoppers. But not every shopper is there for the deals.
“I don't do it for the shopping, I do it to get out and do it. For the social aspect,” said Colleen Valentino, who estimated she’s shopped on Black Friday 15 times before.
Another shopper agreed, saying, “You got good sales most of the time and there's a lot of people. You get to know a lot of other people talking to them standing in line. Everyone is going through the same pandemonium you are, so it’s a good time.”
So if the deals don’t get people in the door, the tradition does.