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Mississippi Retailers Expecting a Busy Black Friday

By Daniel Cherry | Published 24 Nov 2011 08:01pm | comments

Shoppers in Mississippi are lining up today for the busiest retail day of the year. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports how experts say this year's Black Friday could be a bright spot for retailers in the state.

Black Friday kicks off the holiday shopping season, a time of year the National Retail Federation says accounts for 25 to 40 percent of total sales for some retailers. Although some shoppers are lining up around stores this morning, Anitrel Stamper of Union says she's sitting this one out.

"I'm not going to fight over a game or trampoline or something. I'm not going to go for the big door busters because I don't want to get run over and jabbed in the stomach by some crazy woman."

Unemployment in Mississippi is still higher than the national average, but the jobless rate has stabilized in the past several months. Dr. Marianne Hill is the Senior Economist with the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning. She says that's helping consumer confidence in Mississippi which is higher than in most states.

"Leading up to this holiday season, sales have been higher than expected. Consumers have been finally making those purchases they've put off. We expect then retail sales this holiday season will be higher than last year's in Mississippi. It's looking good."

Retailers have been gearing up for today's shopping boom for weeks. Many stores are rolling out their best deals of the year to attract their share of consumers hitting the malls and shops today. Tim O'Dougherty manages Belk in Flowood. He says they're giving out gift cards to the first 250 shoppers...one of those worth 1000 dollars.

"Those gift cards are a big draw for us. We'll have hundreds upon hundreds of people waiting outside the doors, probably wrapped around the building. Bright and early, we open at 3a.m. so that traffic will start to form a line well prior to that."

Estimates say as many as 152 million shoppers could be taking advantage of Black Friday nationwide. 

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