Early shoppers beat Black Friday rush


Related coverage: Black Friday 2019

Shoppers stand in line Thursday outside JCPenney at Penn Square Mall. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]

Hardy and deal-hungry shoppers lined up Thursday outside JCPenney at Penn Square Mall, waiting in the cold and occasional rain for the doors to open at 2 p.m. so they could snap up an air fryer or two, various electronics and big-discount clothes.

“Honestly, with the Black Friday deals you get on clothes, it makes it worth it, getting a little elbow room,” said Ryan Johnson, who shopped with his wife, Jazzlyn. “Black Friday before too long is gonna start in October.”

Black Friday has long been a favorite shopping day for gift-shopping Americans, or in some instances when shoppers sought just to treat themselves to something nice.

The days of trampling herds of shoppers and doorbuster deals on a Friday morning have all but passed, however, as more and more retailers open on Thanksgiving day and offer most, if not all, their sales online as well as in-store.

Nasur Syed of Edmond said Thursday was his first time waiting in line for a Black Friday deal. He stood outside JCPenney for two hours. He was shopping for shoes, clothes, an air fryer and a juicer. But he planned to hit the electronics section first.

“Everybody in line, we’ve been respecting each other,” he said.

Many retailers introduce discounts around this time as Americans still enjoy the tradition of shopping while together with family around Thanksgiving.

Jazzlyn Johnson said she and her husband were looking for deals on appliances and stuff for the kids. The plan was to shop Thursday and feast Friday.

“Spend money today, eat tomorrow,” they each said.

Retail research group Wallet Hub conducted a survey of some of the nation’s best average Black Friday retailers, as well as what discount amount shoppers should aim for when bargain hunting. Not every sale is equal, and not everything is as cheap as it might seem.

Stage, Belk, JCPenney, Kohl’s and Dick’s Sporting Goods are among the top retailers by average percent discount and can all be found in Oklahoma.

Wallet Hub recommends consumers seek out discounts of 40% or more when shopping, as deals less than that to avoid what it calls “Black Friday traps.”

Apparel and accessories tend to have the biggest share of discounted items, while consumer packaged goods has the smallest, according to the survey.

These sales play an important part for the local economy and retailers. Another survey, from Womply, found from Black Friday to Christmas Eve, the average retailer in Oklahoma City sees nearly 70% higher daily revenues on average, with about 100% increase in the number of transactions per day.

After Black Friday

Black Friday is no longer the only featured shopping day following Thanksgiving.

Small Business Saturday puts a focus on local retailers, with many celebrating with special events as well as sales. The Oklahoman will feature some of those sales and events in upcoming holiday shopping coverage.

After that, Cyber Monday is a day many who eschewed the lines at brick-and-mortar stores will use to get some shopping done. Many retailers will offer special discounts available online only on this shopping day.

Follow The Oklahoman in print and online for additional future coverage of holiday shopping.

Related Photos

Shoppers stand in line Thursday outside JCPenney at Penn Square Mall. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]
Intermittent rain falls on shoppers Thursday as they wait outside JCPenney at Penn Square Mall for the doors to open to early sales. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]
Shoppers hurry to join the line already in place Thursday outside JCPenney at Penn Square Mall. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]
Shoppers enter JCPenney at Penn Square Mall for early discounts on Thursday afternoon. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]