Shoppers show up in force for Black Friday across Houston

Shoppers burned off that turkey dinner by getting a jump on holiday shopping Thursday and Friday
November 29, 2013 8:28:36 PM PST
Pre-Black Friday openings Thursday night seemed to make for a calmer morning of door-busting deals, but marathon bargain hunters were still out on the prowl Friday evening.

According to Consumer Reports, more than half of Americans this year say they have no intention of fighting the crowds on Black Friday weekend. Others have made it a tradition and say it's nice to have a little more elbow room in the stores.

For Kathleen McGrory and her children, venturing out to the Houston Galleria on Black Friday took a lot of patience.

"I think a lot of people are intimidated by the crowds," McGrory said. "I feel like it was going to be very crowded, parking was rough. We wanted to come and see the lights and the tree."

With the holiday shopping season off to an arguably bumpy start, shoppers like Nakia Vestal have more room to drop some serious cash.

"I'm doing damage today -- a lot," Vestal said. "People go crazy on Black Friday. Today is the day of insanity, so you just deal with it."

But according to a new Consumer Reports survey, 56 percent of people surveyed said they have no intention of setting foot inside a store anytime during the Black Friday weekend; 70 percent of those people said they just wanted to avoid the crowds, and 58 percent said they will do their shopping online.

Houston Galleria officials say they haven't seen a noticeable drop in foot traffic.

"Perhaps now with the internet and with other ways of not getting off your couch and doing the same amount of shopping people are more incentivized to do that and avoid the crowds," Juan Graham said.

Graham said he's almost tapped out. He just spent a good chunk of change buying a rock to pop the question. (By the way, she said yes.)

According to the National Retail Federation, holiday sales are expected to climb by 3.9 percent to just more than $6 billion.

And the shopping will continue. Don't forget, tomorrow is Small Business Saturday.

Find Foti on Facebook at ReporterFotiKallergis or on Twitter at @FotiKallergis

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