Champaign-Urbana shoppers start carts for “Black Friday”


Customer service employees Rachel Cowling, left, Karen Paul and Anna Lizalek, right, stay busy with customers Friday in Grand Chute, Wis. The nation’s shoppers took advantage of deals on toys and TVs with some renewed vigor in stores and online.

By Michael Norman

Last Friday, shoppers across the country started their shopping carts for “Black Friday.”

The day after Thanksgiving has become the official start to the holiday shopping season for consumers across America because of the sales stores offer.

Jared Lambert, supervisor at the Best Buy, 2117 N. Prospect Ave., in Champaign, said Black Friday is the biggest day of the year for stores.

“The holiday season is when the most revenue is brought in, and Black Friday is the biggest single day of that season,” he added.

“I saw an increase of the number of people this year. Everyone is out and eager to get a good deal on a lot of items,” he added.

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Lambert said a lot of the top selling items of the day went fast.

“As you can imagine, the best deals went quick, such as 4 gig flash drives, Epson all-in-one printers, digital cameras, Blu-Ray DVDs and LCD televisions,” he said.

To meet the high demand for certain items, stores had to make sure they were properly stocked.

Lambert said that, in order to avoid shortages, Best Buy and other stores stocked up with specific models that are only sold on Black Friday and the next day.

“Using specific products that are only sold on those two days makes it easier for us to keep the models separate,” Lambert said.

Connie Cenzano, supervisor at J.C. Penney in Market Place Mall, 2000 N. Neil St., in Champaign, said much planning is put in by stores to meet the needs of customers.

He said that the store planned for this year better than last year.

“We opened the doors at 4 a.m. We didn’t have problems with the amount of staff members working because it was planned well,” Cenzano said. “The customers and employees were all in good spirits throughout the day.”

Students who did not shop the day after Thanksgiving may not need to worry about missing all of the sales.

Shawn Exum, assistant manager at Foot Locker in Market Place Mall, said many students come into the store throughout the holiday shopping season.

“Along with Black Friday, Foot Locker offers a lot of great sales throughout the year,” he added. “We know that when students come back they will be looking for good deals, and we will have sales going on up to and after the holidays are over.”

Sales can be found all around the Champaign area before going back home for the holidays.

Lambert said Best Buy also realizes students are out shopping before they go back home.

“We will definitely be continuing sales on our products,” Lambert said.

“They might not be as crazy as Black Friday, but we will still have some awesome deals on a lot of great items,” he added.