Most of Wisconsin’s major retailers opened their doors in predawn darkness on Friday – ‘Black Friday’ as it’s known in retail parlance. The early openings are part of the strategy to pull shoppers in for the traditional post-Thanksgiving shopopalooza. The parking lot was jammed at a Target store in Marshfield, where sisters Lori Immerfall, Carrie Seeflueth and Traci Gust were taking care of some big ticket items, including a flat panel television. Elsewhere, the Wal-Mart in New Berlin had lots of shoppers at 2:30 a.m., while others were outside the door waiting for electronics and other door busters to go on sale at 5:00. Stores like Younkers had their earliest openings ever: 3:00.
Black Friday has traditionally been the day that determines whether many stores will make money for the year. But with more shopping on Thanksgiving and on-line, the impact of a single day keeps decreasing. A poll by Consumer Reports shows that fewer Americans will hit the stores this weekend. The total is projected to be 102-million, down by 16 million from a year ago. The National Retail Federation expects holiday sales to rise by 2.3% from 2009, as more people shop on their computers. The Kohl’s chain, based in Menomonee Falls, is among those which had their Black Friday sales fliers on-line as early as last Sunday. Kohl’s was caught off-guard a year ago when its Web site crashed a number of times due to all the traffic. This year, Kohl’s says it’s ready for the cyber onslaught.