NEW YORK (AP) — Black Friday shoppers fought for parking spots and traveled cross-state to their favorite malls, kicking off a shortened shopping season that intensified the mad scramble between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The shopping season is the shortest since 2013 because Thanksgiving fell on the last Thursday in November — the latest possible date it could be. That means customers will have less time to shop and retailers will have less time to woo them.
Shoppers up since the wee hours slept in chairs and slumped against shopping bags at Nashville’s Opry Mills mall, known for its outlet stores. Outside, deal-seekers were still fighting for parking spots by midmorning.
Haley Wright left Alabama at 4 a.m. to arrive at the Tennessee mall by 7 a.m. She makes the annual trip because she says the stores offer better deals and a more fun environment than the stores back home.
“I let my husband do the online shopping; I do Black Friday,” she said.
Adobe Analytics predicts a loss of $1 billion in online revenue from a shortened season. Still, it expects online sales will reach $143.7 billion, up 14.1% from last year’s holiday season.