Black Friday is back — just don’t expect door-busting crowds or deals

There will be sales and discounts, but experts say most won’t be as deep as years past

SAN ANTONIO – After stuffing the turkey, will shoppers be stuffing the stores?

“We will go out Black Friday shopping, because it’s tradition,” said Kimberly Hudson, who’s already whittled away at her holiday gift list.

She’s not alone. The National Retail Federation said it anticipates 20% more shoppers than last year for the Thanksgiving through Cyber-Monday shop-a-thon stretch. It’s not quite pre-pandemic numbers, but a big boost over last year when many people were reluctant to venture out.

The crowds may be bigger, but what about the door-busting Black Friday deals shoppers have grown accustomed to? After all, many retailers have been rolling out the pre-Black Friday deals as far back as Halloween.

“I think it’s probably safe to say deals will not be as good as in years past,” said Elliot Weiler with Consumer Reports. “That said, there are still products that will be at their lowest on Black Friday -televisions being one of them.”

Televisions to toys, prices are generally higher than last year. They’ve been pushed up by supply chain issues, shipping and trucking costs, labor and overall inflation.

There will still be plenty of sales to be scored, especially if you’re flexible, experts say. Just don’t expect the discounts to be as rock-bottom attractive as a couple of years ago.

Of course, it pays to compare prices. When shopping in store, you can use a price comparison app on your phone. And, when shopping online, downloading a browser extension like Honey or Priceblink can help you find the best price.

“That software kind of runs in the background, so when you’re doing shopping online, you get a little pop-up window. It will show you what that item is priced at at other websites,” Weiler said.

Black Friday may not be the sidewalk-camping, crowd-surging mayhem is used to be, but it’s still a thing.

And, Kimberly Hudson will be there because, to her, it’s not so much about the sales as it is the adventure.

“I like to people watch,” she said. “It’s fun.”

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About the Authors:

As a consumer reporter, Marilyn is all about helping people stay safe and save a buck. Since coming to KSAT in 1985, she’s covered everything from crime to politics, winning awards for her coverage of the Mexican Mafia, Oklahoma tornadoes, children’s transplants, an investigation into voting irregularities and even a hit-and-run Santa Claus.