Black Friday Sales Survey Released

FRESNO, Calif. Shoppers got an early start Sunday here on holiday gifts.

We spoke with a local marketing expert who said many shoppers went looking for one maybe two discounted items and stopped spending there.

Holiday shoppers appear more conservative with gift purchases this year than ever before.

Fresno shopper Lisa Farrior: "The economy. Things are costing a lot more and I just don't want to go into debt."

Clovis shopper Mary Bishop: "We're on a low income and that means a lot to me.

Fresno shopper Melanie Kophamer: "I've tried real hard to get my credit card paid off and I'm going to keep it that way."

The National Retail Federation's Black Friday weekend poll shows more people - 195 million-headed out in search of discounted items. That's 23 million more than last year.

However the poll also found the average shopper spent less. Nearly $30 ($29.26) less than last year despite retailers efforts to lure people in with big discounts.

"I've never seen so much creative retailing in my life," said marketing specialist Dr. William Rice.

Marketing specialist Dr. William Rice said the Black Friday poll indicates poor consumer confidence and sales for retailers and expects even poorer sales leading up to christmas.

Rice: "If we had them spend less there was more out there but we spent less per person and they also didn't even increase significantly over 2008 when they didn't have those creative strategies. That tells me we're in for some really deep issues."

Rice said retailers have back up strategies.That is what cyber monday is for.

Retailers like and Target are sending out emails about online deals. Rice said these are 'Click and Brick' sales.

Rice: "They have a brick location but they allow you to buy online. And now they're saying a lot of people did not come into our stores on Friday, let's see if we can get them in on a click approach on Monday."

Shoppers we spoke to said they plan to stay away from Cyber Monday. They do not want to use their credit cards online and run up their debt. That appears to be an uphill battle retailers face headed to Christmas.

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