Local shoppers hit stores in search of Black Friday deals

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ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) – It’s the Super Bowl of shopping, and it’s starting early.

Officials at Valley View Mall opened their doors early this morning at 5 a.m., one hour before their scheduled Black Friday hours.

86% of Americans are planning to spend their hard-earned cash on pre-Christmas sales such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, according to the latest research by finder.com. Research shows that although 12% more Americans are planning to partake in 2019 pre-Christmas sales than in 2018, Americans are expected to spend about $3 billion less than the previous year with the average adult expecting to drop $397.50 (roughly $87 billion).

Major retail stores, including Best Buy, Kohl’s, Macy’s and Target, have already opened their doors on Thursday to launch Black Friday doorbuster deals early. Many have also start Black Friday promotions online, hours before their shops opened.

Management at Target, located on Valley View Boulevard, say they’re prepared for big crowds.

“We always have a calm, collected Black Friday. We get compliments all night long about how nice, calm, and orderly it is. You saw the entrance. People are very agreeable when they come out and just have a good time,” says Daniel Haskins, store manager.

Many residents we spoke with say, for them, Black Friday is a holiday tradition.

“We leave when most of the stores are open at night, and then we sleep for a little bit, and then we wake up in the morning and we just keep going until we have to go home and sleep some more,” says Emily Coffey, a Black Friday shopper.

According to BlackFriday.com, the top Black Friday 2019 products consumers said they were looking for deals on include: Clothing (41%); home goods/small appliances (38%); tablets/laptops/PCs/TVs (32%); smart home gadgets & tech (30%); toys (25%); travel or experiences (12%).

If you and you’re family are planning to do some shopping, here are some tips from Consumer Reports to make sure you find the best deals.

Black Friday Shopping Tips:

1. Start early. To judge how good the deals really are once it’s crunch time, you’ll need to track prices leading up to Black Friday. The same goes for Cyber Monday, which now stretches into a week of online specials.

2. Do your homework. Regularly check BFAads.net, BestBlackFriday.comDealNewsTheBlackFriday.com, and GottaDeal. Sign up and these sites will send you deal alerts, which you can typically filter by product category.

3. Use websites and apps. Many Black Friday sites, such as the ones listed above, have their own shopping apps. And so do major retailers such as Amazon, Best Buy, Target, and Walmart. Amazon’s mobile app, for example, lets you use a smartphone camera to scan products and price-shop online. (Done shopping? Deleting apps you don’t use can help protect your privacy and security.)

4. Get social. The Facebook pages, Instagram posts, and Twitter feeds of your favorite retailers are a great way to find out about exclusive deals and promotions. Retailers will often reward customers who like or follow them with special alerts to Black Friday discounts and incentives. And of course texts, tweets, and social media posts are an easy way to share Black Friday shopping intel with your friends.

7. Check all store policies in advance. Almost all the major retailers have some form of price-match policy, and they’ve been expanding them almost every year. But some stores might suspend their price-match guarantees during the Black Friday weekend on certain items, so read the fine print. Check the return and exchange policies for Black Friday sales to make sure that the store won’t charge a restocking fee for any item you bring back.

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