With the Thanksgiving holiday shopping weekend spread out over four days this year, the shoppers came in waves at Richmond stores starting Thursday evening.
More laid-back shoppers were meandering through the businesses by Friday afternoon, content with not being first in line but still getting some good deals.
“We made a list of what we need,” said Kayla Grey.
Kayla was making the rounds at Hobby Lobby with her husband, Austin, and 18-month-old son, Aeron. The family is from Richmond.
“We come out to take advantage of the sales, not to go crazy,” Kayla Grey said, noting they didn’t get started shopping until 11 a.m. and had only gone to Kohl’s before coming to Hobby Lobby.
The couple said they planned on getting some simple toys for Aeron, and they weren’t foreseeing any pricey splurges this holiday season.
“We keep it simple,” Austin said.
Meghan Scott, of Richmond, was shopping with her mother, Barbara Scott, who lives in Cynthiana. They were checking out Hobby Lobby’s jewelry-making supplies, and Meghan said she’d found a bracelet on the internet she’d like to make as a Christmas gift.
This is the fourth year the two have gotten together to shop Black Friday in Richmond.
“We’ve been coming here to avoid Lexington,” Barbara Scott said.
She added that it’s not just the store crowds but also the heavy traffic and parking snarls that make Lexington holiday shopping a hassle.
JCPenney, one of the national retailers that started sales on Thanksgiving, had people packed into the glassed-in lobby at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. By Friday afternoon, customers could get in the doors with no problem, but lines at the cash registers were still long.
National sales numbers won't be available until Saturday, according to the Associated Press. The National Retail Federation said 140 million people planned to shop during the four-day holiday weekend.
IBM Benchmark, which tracks e-commerce for 800 retailers, said online sales rose 19.7 percent on Thanksgiving.
Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, started its holiday sales events at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving, two hours earlier than last year. Walmart said customers bought at least 2.8 million towels, 2 million TVs, 1.4 million tablets, 300,000 bicycles and 1.9 million dolls, according to the AP.
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