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Black Friday ushers in holiday shopping

Experts: 138 million shoppers this holiday weekend
Posted at 12:13 PM, Nov 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-25 13:15:26-05

Nothing – not frigid temperatures, the chance to sleep in or fully enjoy Thanksgiving – kept people away from Black Friday deals at Nebraska Furniture Mart.

We expect thousands and thousands people to come through the door this morning, says Rebecca Ritterbush, marketing director at the mart.

“It's really all hands on deck for us,” Ritterbush says. “We start in July planning the deals, but we also start kind of scoping out what the store is going to look like and prepare for a crowd like this.”

The crowd formed when a few eager shoppers like Dustin Marek arrived at the furniture store at around 4 p.m. Thursday.

 

 

I had a chair, blanket and took cat naps in between, Marek says.

The objective? To score a big-ticket item.

“It's a $900 TV. It's [a Samsung 65 inch 4K LED Ultra TV] and it's usually about $1,300 – about $1,299.”

According to the National Retail Federation, nearly 138 million people will shop this Thanksgiving weekend with Black Friday being the busiest day.

Overnight, a pop-up city formed with people camped out in tents – others solely armed with blankets. For some, a warm drink and fully charged mobile device got them through the wait until 6 a.m. for the “Door Crashers” items.

“I kind of thought it be worst than what it was,” says Jeff Walker.

For his first time shopping on Black Friday, he said it wasn’t too bad once employees let consumers inside the store.

“Everything is under control. I thought it'd be more pushing and shoving and fighting.”

As Ritterbush puts it, the day is chaotic but also organized.