ROCHESTER, Minn. – Stores across the country are getting excited and ready for Black Friday, and shoppers are too.
It’s easier for shoppers to prepare for the big shopping day as most ads are already online. Most stores already have early Black Friday sales, and some are even opening Thanksgiving evening.
Each year is different with all the different products and technology changes.
Roberto Olivares, the “Geek Squad” manager at Rochester’s Best Buy location, said this year’s hot-ticket items are “smart home” products.
“So all those products that you can you know tell it to turn on your lights, lock the door, turn on the sprinklers,” Olivarez said.
Olivares said Best Buy employees have been busy learning about the new products in order to answer customers’ questions.
“My kids are high tech,” Ann Hilden, a shopper, said. “I'm not, so I need support systems. The support desk and those folks helping me out, getting me to the right item that I need.”
If she doesn’t need to ask questions, Hilden prefers to skip the stores and shop online for Black Friday.
“I like to avoid the crowds,” Hilden said. “I'm not a good person in big large groups no. I'd rather sit home with my iPad and work.”
And she’s not alone. According to a CNN Money report, last year more than 154 million consumers shopped in stores and online. That’s about 3 million more than 2015.
Most stores have limited quantity with some products in their stores. Shopping online can be a better way to get certain products, as well as safer than dealing with the crowds.
Best Buy is trying to help with safety by handing out tickets for certain products to people in line. Olivarez said he knows their store can get crowded.
“When we open the doors the past couple of years, what I've seen is that they already know whether they're going to go this way, you know to the right, straight ahead,” Olivarez said. “A lot of the times they have a partner and you know they have a plan, you can see them go different ways.”