Holiday shopping season is off and running - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Holiday shopping season is off and running

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Shoppers rush into Best Buy in Rockford at 5:00 a.m. Friday Shoppers rush into Best Buy in Rockford at 5:00 a.m. Friday
Best Buy was one of many stores in the area with a steady stream of shoppers rolling through the days at 5:00 a.m. Best Buy was one of many stores in the area with a steady stream of shoppers rolling through the days at 5:00 a.m.
FatWallet Director of Marketing Brent Shelton helps us track the online deals. FatWallet Director of Marketing Brent Shelton helps us track the online deals.
Many of the shoppers waited in line for several hours, starting Thursday evening. Many of the shoppers waited in line for several hours, starting Thursday evening.
The professional Black Friday shoppers brought their tents! The professional Black Friday shoppers brought their tents!

UNDATED (WREX) - Hundreds of people started off their Friday after Thanksgiving during the wee hours of the morning to take advantage of all the Black Friday deals.

13 News Today was live at Best Buy on Perryville in Rockford where people started linking up with their tents after Thanksgiving dinner. The spent hours in line to get tickets for the sales items they wanted - and then they waited for the doors to open at 5:00 a.m.

Hundreds of people were also out at places like Walmart and Target - lining up for big ticket items at low prices.

FatWallet Director of Marketing Brent Shelton joined us on 13 News Today to help track the sales as they developed online. You can watch his three segments on our show to learn more about some of the best HDTV, laptop computer and other electronic sales that are still available.

On the national scene,the Black Friday rush started just after midnight at the Toys R Us store in Times Square.

The Black Friday crowds are a good sign for retailers, but many people say they plan to spend less this year. Total sales are expected to be down at least one percent.

"According to our research about 25% of shoppers will pay primarily with cash this holiday season. That's up from last year," said Ellen Davis of the National Retail Federation.

Stores reacted to the expected drop in sales by lowering inventory levels by some 30% this year.

Many of them hope to grab the attention of shoppers early with all these Black Friday deals, and they hope to draw more people into their stores with the internet.

"According to a shop.org study, about 50% of retailers say they will increase their use of Twitter or Facebook this holiday season," said Davis.

"Whether it is Black Friday or Cyber Monday, shoppers are looking for good deals," said Lorrie Norrington, President of eBay Marketplaces.

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