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Friday
Nov262010

Black Friday Bargains May Brighten Retail Gloom

Customers wait in line outside a Sears department store in Fort Worth, Texas. Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Holiday generosity pent up over the past two years may finally be vented in a Black Friday rush.  Retailers across the country opened their doors overnight to provide shoppers the opportunity to find bargains on items they will give as gifts and sometimes, keep for themselves.

Best Buy stores were set to open at 5 a.m. in every time zone but at one in Manhattan, lines were so long store security opened the doors at 3:30 a.m.  When Macy's in Herald Square opened at 4:30 a.m., there were 7,000 people waiting to get in.

A woman who skipped Thanksgiving dinner to wait outside a store in Atlanta said she was just out to get some bargains and was headed to Wal-Mart next.  "I better get something," she said.  In California, people slept outside Best Buy.

Experts say shoppers may be ready this year to part with a little more money on items that are not so much "must haves" as they are "desires."  Many of the holiday gifts purchased last year and the year before tended to be more practical in nature, while this year there may be a feeling among some that they can splurge just a little.

Still, with unemployment still right around 9 percent, many people will keep their belts tight.  Retailers have those people in mind too.  Target stores were offering $3 appliances Friday morning, including things like hand-mixers and other small kitchen items. 

No hard numbers indicating the success of the sales are due on Friday but the National Retail Federation is expected to report figures on Saturday.

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