We are live right outside of Best Buy where people started lining up early this morning. Doors open here at 5 AM for Black Friday shopping which is a time when retailer's balance sheets go from red or making no money to black and making a profit. Economists expect an uptick in holiday shopping but it might not be enough.
Zecchariah Furlong started his Black Friday planning earlier this week. He and about a dozen people set up camp in front of the Best Buy at River Park in North Fresno. The reporter asked "Why wait here on your Thanksgiving on Black Friday?" Furlong said, "Because money is really tight because of the recession and you got to save every bit of money you can and that's the only way we can afford to buy electronics."
A feeling shared by many valley shoppers. An exclusive Action News poll conducted by Survey USA asked adults how much they plan to spend on holiday gifts. 27-percent answered less than $250. 43-percent expect to spend between $250 and $500.
Fresno Economist Henry Nishimoto believes shoppers will spend more money this year. Nishimoto said, "If they have another bad Christmas holiday, it could be even more disastrous for the smaller retailers that are just hanging on by a thread…Retail, restaurant and resorts, those are the three areas that get hit the hardest during a recession."
Fashion Fair Mall will open this year earlier than ever before- at midnight tonight. Marketing Manager Kelly Tallant said the recession forced them to be creative. Tallant said, "We want to do everything we can to make it convenient if that means opening up and doing some fun stuff at midnight that why we going to do."