Black Friday may have really started Thursday, but downtown Auburn jumped into the swing at 8 a.m. the day after Thanksgiving.
Some shops had lines around the corner by 7:30 a.m. and, as of noon, shoppers were still going strong.
“It’s just a fun atmosphere in downtown Auburn,” said Natalie Gilbert, co-owner of Ellie.
Some shops, such as Fab’rik, gave away gift cards to the first 20 customers.
“We had a huge turnout this morning,” said Kelsey Fuller, general manager of Fab’rik. “We had about, I’d say anywhere from 50 to 75 people in the tore this morning. Since then we’ve just been crazy, really.”
Shoppers pursued Auburn’s different downtown businesses from Stamped to Charming Oaks.
“(Black Friday) is great just because it really brings in people into our store that’s never shopped with us before,” Fuller said.
In addition to its being Black Friday, Iron Bowl weekend has come upon Auburn. So downtown is full of people hunting for special deals, but also for the big buzz for the big game.
Christi Chaney said she came downtown to see the different deals offered by stores.
“I think it brings out the people and help increase their business,” she said.
The day after Thanksgiving is also typically the first day of the Christmas season.
“(Black Friday) just really gets everybody in a good mood and good spirit about the Christmas season that’s upon us,” Fuller said.
The National Retail Federation, the nation’s largest retail trade group, forecasts that holiday sales will rise to 4.2 percent, an increase from the disappointing 2.1 percent growth last holiday season.
Last year’s holiday sales were hurt by turmoil over the White House trade policy with China and a delay of nearly a month in data collection because of a government shutdown. This year’s holiday forecast is above the average holiday sales growth of 3.7 percent over the previous five years.
The retailers’ group expects online and other non-store sales, which are included in the total, to increase 11-14 percent for the holiday period.
Adobe Analytics said Thanksgiving Day set records for online shopping. Consumers spent $4.2 billion on Thanksgiving, a 14.5 percent increase from last year.