Thursday night store openings create smaller Black Friday Crowds - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Thursday night store openings create smaller crowds on Black Friday

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Friday was a grueling long cold day for many people in Sioux Falls and across the nation. 

A bunch of major retailers opened late Thursday night and early Friday morning to kick off the Holiday shopping season. 

According to the National Retail Federation, sales are expected to rise 4 percent this year, for a grand total of just under $600 billion. While sales are expected to rise, the number of shoppers is expected to be down, with 5 million less people hitting store shelves. 

Many retailers in Sioux Falls were very busy Friday with lots of traffic up and down Louise and 41st street. People were getting their Christmas list checked off and taking advantage of all the great deals. 

But for many people, Black Friday is about more than just chasing sales, it's about spending time with family and tradition; a tradition that is quickly changing. 

Dawn Krier and her family are big Black Friday shoppers.   

"We've already been to our car 2 or 3 times to drop off our packages, so we are much more successful than we look," said Krier. 

For Krier, her sisters and their daughters, coming together for Thanksgiving means more than turkey and pumpkin pie.  

"Yes, we're together for Thanksgiving, but really the shopping the next day is what we're really excited about," said Krier. 

All the sales on Black Friday inspire families to get out and fight the crowds to get the best deals. 

"I think your other side just comes out on Black Friday, you can usually be another person but your crazy side comes out everyone's just kind of there ready to get what they want," said Krier's niece Abby Kates.   

Many shoppers said the crowds this Friday were actually pretty light compared to other years.  They say it's all because of Thursday night's early store openings. 

"I think it's actually crazier the night before than it was actually on Friday," said Kates. 

"We're noticing now that when you come out on Friday it's almost like a regular shopping day, it's not as crazy," said Krier. 

That crazy shopping experience has now moved to Thanksgiving as many retailers opened their doors as early as 8:00pm Thursday. 

"She went out last night, to Wal-Mart, but I still refuse to shop on Thanksgiving," said Krier. 

Kates said she got to Wal-Mart around 8 and stood in line for two and a half hours for some electronics.  

"There were super long lines to pay, it was crazy…but that's kind of the fun of it though too," said Kates.  

But for those who don't find that craziness very fun, the lighter Friday crowds mean some people are braving Black Friday for the very first time.

"It's nice to not be the crazy people that get up at midnight and come out and shop,  I want no part of that, I don't want to be shoved into walls or anything like that," said first-time Black Friday shopper Kendra Wilson-Howd. 

Even those Black Friday shoppers who thrive on the craziness say they were still able to enjoy one of their favorite family traditions. 

"It's still fun and we look forward to having lunch and going home and having a nap after," said Krier and her clan.

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