Millennium Post

US shoppers go in for the kill on ‘Black Friday’

US shoppers go in for the kill on ‘Black Friday’
And it’s only Thursday. Americans will spend tens of billions of dollars over the four-day holiday and there was certainly no messing about at Leesburg Corner, a Virginia outlet center only a short drive from the US capital Washington.

There was hardly time for the roast turkey and stuffing to settle when most shops opened there on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, for a 28-hour bonanza of breathless consumerism that was to stretch overnight and drag on nonstop until 10:00 pm Friday. Henri Brown, 17, and brother Will, 15, were among the first through the doors on a chilly winter’s evening. Henri forked over $130 in the first hour and proclaimed himself happy with his early purchases: two jackets — a dark blue one he was already wearing — sunglasses and trousers.

“Most places have 50 percent or more off, it’s pretty good. I come here most years to get clothes for the winter, but it’s not as crazy busy as previous years,” he said. The four-day Thanksgiving weekend is the kickoff to the US holiday shopping season, and Black Friday has long been considered the critical day that turns retailers’ books from red to black.

But there has been criticism of those retailers that throw their doors open on Thanksgiving instead of actually waiting for Black Friday. Don’t the store workers deserve a day off to spend with their families too?

“They don’t have to work. I guess they do it for the money. They are not being forced here,” said Henri. “And they might enjoy the rush of people.”

Vera Luo, a 19-year-old from China studying in Washington, came armed with a suitcase she was ready to fill to bursting with new acquisitions that she said would be more expensive in China. She and two friends paid $60 for a taxi from the US capital and they were in it for the long haul.


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