Shoppers pack stores as holiday season revs up

By Anne D’Innocenzio

AP Retail Writer

Shoppers crowded stores and malls in the wee hours Friday, some after spending the night waiting in line, to grab early morning deals and hard-to-find items.

The nation’s retailers expanded their hours and offered deep discounts on everything from toys to TVs in hopes of getting consumers, many of whom are worried about high unemployment and tight credit, to open their wallets.



A number of stores, including Walmart and many Old Navy locations, opened on Thanksgiving, hoping to make the most of the extra hours. Toys R Us opened most of its stores just after midnight Friday.

But worries about jobs clearly were on top of shoppers’ minds as they focused on big bargains on TVs and practical gifts. Many shoppers said Friday they plan to spend less this year than they did last year.

At a Best Buy in suburban Cincinnati, store officials said some people starting camping out with tents at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. The store started handing out tickets for big items, like laptop computers and televisions, around 4 a.m. Friday.

Robin Fryman, 47, of Mount Orab, Ohio, said she and her daughter, a friend and her husband got out at 6:30 a.m. for deals at Best Buy. Her hours as a food worker were recently cut from 40 to 25 per week.


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