Janesville52.4°

In Janesville, some shoppers on Black Friday slept in--and saved

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Catherine W. Idzerda
November 26, 2011
— First, we’re not going to say, “I told you so.”

Second, traditional wisdom says you can’t have your cake and eat it, too—which is dumb, because everybody knows that cake is for eating.


On Friday morning, shoppers discovered that they could have their bargains and their sleep, too. That’s something many retail specialists and cynical consumers predicted before the holiday shopping season began.


Although groups such as the National Retail Federation declared the extra-early Thanksgiving-day store openings a success, plenty of shoppers found what they needed after eight hours of sleep and a leisurely breakfast.


Anna Woodman of Janesville was shopping for her nieces, nephews, fiancé and 9-month-old daughter, Kinzley Cox.


Woodman went to Walmart at about 10 p.m. Thursday and said it was “crazy.” And the store was out of the Xbox 360 she wanted for her fiancé.


She then drove to Target and discovered that “the line went around the corner of the building, and there was still an hour to go.”


Woodman returned at a reasonable hour Friday and found the store was busy but not mobbed.


“They had the Xbox, and it was cheaper than Walmart, too,” Woodman said.


Woodman’s cart was full, and she was carrying a bag full of presents.


Was she spending less this year because of the economy?


“I’m spending more, actually, because I have a good job,” Woodman said.


The National Retail Federation predicted a 2.8 percent increase in sales for 2011, according to a news release from the organization.


While the growth will not match the 5.2 percent increase retailers experienced last year, it is slightly higher than the 10-year average increase of 2.6 percent, the news release said.


The federation said its research shows that shoppers plan to spend an average of $704.18 on gifts and seasonal merchandise.


Most shoppers leaving Target seemed to have more modest ambitions.


Catanya Curry of Fond du Lac was in Janesville visiting family, and she used the opportunity to buy presents for her two children.


Using Target gift cards and scouring the sale flier for details, she came out “$50 under budget.”


As she and her boyfriend, Noah Nelson, loaded the trunk of her Ford Taurus, Curry’s two children twisted around in their car seats to get a better view of the action. Unfortunately for them, all their presents were bagged in non-transparent red bags.


Like Woodman, Curry was pleased to find that the store was bustling with shoppers but not painfully crowded.


“I was expecting it to take a lot longer, but I was in and out in under an hour,” Curry said.



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