Large retail stores are looking forward to a business bonanza as Black Friday follows Thanksgiving Day, but many remain unimpressed.
According to CNN Money, 2012 saw 139.4 million shoppers spending an average of $423 per person, up from $398 per person in 2011 and $316 in 2010.
Furthermore, 23 percent of shoppers surveyed said they camped out outside stores before the midnight opening.
Photo by Steve Browne
The holiday shopping season will really kick off next week, and box stores continue to be hot spots for shoppers after Thanksgiving. But smaller businesses found in downtown areas of many cities aren’t left out in cold, especially since the advent of Small Business Saturday in 2010.
But in Marshall, an informal survey of random shoppers found about nine out of 10 had no plans for Black Friday.
"I avoid it like the plague," said Jill Gordon. "Too many people."
Ellen Griebel expects to be working on Thursday night.
"I figure I'll hit the stores after everybody leaves, because I figure I'll get the same deals anyway," Griebel said.
Griebel isn't in a hurry to get in because she said she's not looking for anything special.
Becky Serreyn will do some Black Friday shopping but not in Marshall.
"I'm going to Sioux Falls," Serreyn said. "I have no idea what I'll buy, and I'm not camping out. I'm not that desperate."
Some prefer a more traditional holiday.
"I won't be shopping," Barb Breckenridge said. "I'll have friends and relatives visiting, and I'd rather be with them."
And some just don't like crowds.
"Absolutely not!" Cathy Hutchins said. "I'm not going to be part of that crazy crowd."
But of course, many do wait in long lines for bargain prices every Thanksgiving evening. The shopping continues all through the weekend and not just in the big chain stores.
Many small businesses report a spillover effect even if they don't open at midnight.
In 2010, American Express promoted Small Business Saturday to persuade people to support local business.
"As far as Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, we're geared up for Christmas and hopefully it'll be a busy weekend," said Sandy Miller, former owner of Kristi's for Women, who now works for the current owner, her daughter Kristi.
Becca Albright and Ray Alderman run the Last Stop CD Shop. For them, the weekend is an opportunity to thin out their inventory and make room for more.
"It's a big blow-out sale," Albright said. "Basically a holiday sale from Black Friday to the end of the year."
Though Last Stop won't open at midnight either, it anticipates a surge in business.
"It's our biggest discounted sale of the year," Alderman said. "We try to keep up with the big boxes."