“Grey Thursday” deals slow but don’t stop Black Friday shoppers

MISSION VALLEY – In the electronics department of the Target in Westfield Mall, there was no indication that there were any fewer shoppers the Friday morning after Thanksgiving – now unofficially (or officially) dubbed “Grey Thursday”.

But retail observers with whom we spoke say there were so many unbelievable deals with stores opening at 8 PM Thanksgiving Night, and staying open all night, it couldn't help but lessen the crowds on Friday. And shoppers with whom we spoke early and at mid-morning say they were surprised to find plenty of parking.

Quite frankly, the retailers, worried about this holiday season (the forecasts aren't good), could care less that sales were now spread out over two days.

At 6 AM, it may not have been a frenzy, but the stream of shoppers was pretty steady. Barbara Rowe and her daughter Cheryl Robertson were waiting there since 8 PM and 11 PM, respectively, the night before.

“We looked at the map, we strategized, we figured where we were gonna go – from Point A to B to C -and we've stuck to it so far,” says Cheryl. “We're gonna get everything we wanted to get.”

Eduardo arrived at 3 AM and also met his goals. “We checked the deals from last night, so we got a pretty good deal,” he says, showing off a shopping cart occupied with a large box of T-Fal cookware. “It's for a relative, and I got it for, like, half off, so – it was like $100, I got it for $50, so it was a pretty good deal.”

The experts are also telling us that with the retail forecasts very ordinary at best, deals are likely to be had through the season. And don't forget about lingering impact of the government shutdown and the possibility of a similar issue in January, among a number of negative factors.

But though budgets continue to be tight, it's not going to spoil things for people like Barbara Rowe. “I've always loved the holidays, so – I have to budget, that's why I'm out here that's why I am out here at 4 and 5 o'clock in the morning trying to catch deals so I can still have a good, happy holidays.”

Ed Lenderman

Categories: KUSI