GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – While veteran Black Friday shoppers recommend bracing yourself for madness before hitting the stores, many Upstate residents said this year the experience was painless.
“It’s interesting and we talked about it, we always think of the stereotypes of like it being hectic and crazy, but it really just hasn’t been as bad as we thought,” said customer Austin Chainey.
Some said the convenience of ordering online just doesn’t provide the reassurance that seeing a product in person does.
“Especially when it comes to shopping for your loved ones, your friends, even for yourself…to be able to see it in front of you and know what you’re looking at and make sure it’s good quality and make sure you’re getting what you’re paying for,” said Hope, a customer.
Store managers said the healthy balance between those who favor online versus in person shopping has helped avoid the chaos.
“The online business has probably spiked a couple hundred percent versus the old days,” said Jeff Mcelroy, senior general manager at Best Buy in Greenville. “The days of coming in the store – it’s still a big deal, people love to feel and play with a product. But the online purchase makes it easier.”
Easier still doesn’t make the in-person crowd any weaker. Lines began forming at 5 a.m. for many stores.
But those that have been participating in Black Friday for years said this is actually late.
“Pre-pandemic we used to open on Thursdays, Thanksgiving night, and we had a big rush and big crowd and be open all night. And over the last couple years since the pandemic, we typically open like 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. so it’s kind of spread the business throughout the day,” said Mcelroy.
Despite inflation causing consumers to face higher prices across the board, many retailers said they didn’t feel the impacts. This allowed for even bigger discounts, hoping to attract consumers looking to space out their holiday shopping.
“Great deals, great offerings from our vendor products and it’s been a great run for us this holiday season,” said Mcelroy.