Shoppers, retailers gearing up for Black Friday deals

Shoppers throughout the country and in western Massachusetts are gearing up for one of the biggest shopping days of the year.
Published: Nov. 23, 2022 at 3:36 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 23, 2022 at 5:49 PM EST
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HOLYOKE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - Shoppers throughout the country and in western Massachusetts are gearing up for one of the biggest shopping days of the year. Black Friday is expected to draw millions of people into stores this coming weekend.

“I’m going all over the place. I love Black Friday. I come here mid-morning, like 4a.m., and then I make my way to eastern Mass., so I try to get it done in one big swoop…One and done, get it done,” said Katie Fitzpatrick of Belchertown.

Western Mass News spoke with shoppers at the Holyoke Mall ahead of the unofficial start of the holiday season. While some, like Fitzpatrick, are getting ready to shop, other folks are choosing to stay at home.

“I would rather stay home and decorate the house instead of going out, standing outside for hours on end and wait in lines…I like to go into the stores, but I like to do it on my own time and not feel rushed by the Black Friday kind of stuff,” said Sharon Forest of Ludlow.

Even with inflation looming, shoppers are still expected to spend money this holiday weekend. Western Mass News is getting answers on shopping trends this year. We reached out to Kristin McGrath, editor from Retail Me Not. She told us about 50 percent of shoppers plan on buying fewer items this holiday season, which could mean more deals for buyers

“Retailers know that they are going to have to offer consumers really good deals to get consumers excited at prices they are willing to pay, McGrath explained.

According to the National Retail Federation, more than 166 million Americans are expected to shop this Thanksgiving weekend. That’s up eight million shoppers from last year and is the highest estimated number of shoppers since 2017. In western Massachusetts, large crowds are expected at Holyoke Mall

“We’re expecting a good crowd. We believe we will have more shoppers this year compared to last year as more people are comfortable shopping in person and we also think people want to get back to the family tradition of shopping on Black Friday,” said Holyoke Mall spokesperson Ruth-Ann Hastings.

Hastings also told us that Santa Claus will be coming to town all the way from the North Pole to the Holyoke Mall on Friday. If you can’t catch him on Friday, he will be sticking around until Christmas Eve.