PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — There were few lines, no pushing or shoving… can this be Black Friday?
“Black Friday has lost its luster,” says Dr. Audrey Guskey, a marketing professor at Duquesne University.
This traditional day of deep discounts to kick-off the holiday shopping season offered peace on earth, instead of fist fights over hot toys in short supply. Retailers don’t care, as long as you spend.
“They have this quest for the Christmas shopper, and so they wanted us to start spending after Halloween,” said Guskey.
It was a young crowd.
“It’s mainly the millennials that were shopping, the younger people were shopping,” Guskey said.
Emma Barowich was spending birthday money from her grandmother.
“American Eagle was 40 percent off, so that was nice,” said Barowich.
There’s some debate about when “doorbusters” came into being, those limited-time sale items designed to lure shoppers.
Wanamakers of Philadelphia may have been the first, promising “calico for a penny a yard” in the 1890s, a rush of buyers smashed the door.
But there were no doorbusters for Rachelle DiPietro and her daughter Maria. They started shopping at 11 a.m.
“We never come for the deals,” said DiPietro. “We just come for everybody being out and about.”
South Hills Village first opened its doors in 1965, that’s about the same time the term “Black Friday” entered the vocabulary, describing retailers’ visions of red ink bleeding into black.
The Village has just undergone a major facelift.
“It was a multi-million dollar renovation that we had here this year,” said Jennifer Carroll, of South Hills Village.
But many businesses started their sales on Thanksgiving Day with nearly 20 percent of all shoppers this long weekend expected to show up then.
“Because even though the numbers weren’t terribly large on Thanksgiving Day, as far as retailer sales, they were still making sales,” said Guskey.
Some shoppers have been scouting bargains all year.
“I’m not a sale shopper; I just go out and buy sporadically,” said Chuck Terpin, another shopper.
Then, there are troopers like 7-year-old Christian Wheaton, who started shopping with mom at 7 a.m.
“I want mac ‘n cheese and salad and pizza,” he said of his immediate wish list.
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