TAMPA, Fla. — Black Friday presales have helped to thin some crowds today, on the first official shopping day of the holiday season.
Big box stores like Walmart, Target and Best Buy launched presales a week ago, giving shoppers more time to find reduced priced items in a time of inflation and financial uncertainty.
Still, some early morning shoppers turned out across the Bay area at stores including Best Buy, Walmart and Bass Pro Shops.
What You Need To Know
- Black Friday presales have helped to thin some crowds today
- Still, some early morning shoppers turned out across the Bay area at stores including Best Buy, Walmart and Bass Pro Shops
- More than 166 million people plan to shop on Black Friday weekend
Shoppers like Lisette Bigness got an early jump on holiday sales, and says looking for sales and sticking to her budget helps guide her purchases.
"I'm always like, kinda looking for a sale anyway,” Bigness said. “So I just pretty much stay the same way. Buy within my limit and that's it."
But how much will sticking to a budget this year buy families?
Maybe not as much, depending on what you are looking for.
Experts say clothing prices have stabilized, however the fun gifts like toys and electronics are more expensive than last year.
Stores like Walmart say it has been working for the past year to keep prices as low as possible.
“We have been innovating with our suppliers to make sure that we can provide amazing value, and we are doing everything we can to mitigate the cost of inflation,” said Amanda Cantu, Walmart Spokesperson.
The biggest question about holiday shopping this year is how much new debt will Americans be willing to rack up?
Lending tree says it expects 35% of families to open new in-store credit cards.
And tax expert Steve Ribble with Guardian Accountant Group in Tampa says even before the holidays, credit pressure has been building.“September credit card debt increased $35 or $40 billion,” Ribble said. “I would anticipate that to continue as we get into the Christmas season as people just don't have the discretionary income that they used to have."
Box stores are trying to make gains on online competitors this year, thanks to increased shipping costs.
With fuel prices still high, online purchases could cost more than buying in-store depending on the deals you get for shipping.