Early holiday shoppers scoring big deals

Posted at 8:49 AM, Nov 18, 2015

Five weeks before Christmas, shoppers are already marking items off their lists.

"I bought for my granddaughter, my grandson I got some stuff for, my son-in-law I've almost got him done," said early shopper, Mary Lou Essex. "And, that's about it. But, I'm making a dent."

Because it hasn't been hard to find good sales at multiple stores.

"There's a pair of boots that I want - hello Santa Claus - and Younkers has them. And, I think right now, they're a $70 boot, but you can get them for $24.99 with some sale they got going on right now. I mean are you kidding me?" said fellow shopper Cheryl Vaughn.

Low prices this early has her thinking Black Friday isn't worth it.

"One of my Christmas presents is in electronics and it was on sale," Vaughn explained. "So, okay I don't need Black Friday, I've got it. It's in the house hiding."

MSU Professor Patricia Huddleston of the Advertising and Public Relations Department told FOX 47 that Black Friday could become a thing of the past because research shows nearly 30% of shoppers are done with their gift lists by Thanksgiving.

"We're seeing it become maybe a little less important. I'm not trying to say it's going away because I don't believe it will. But, it's not even the busiest holiday, not the busiest shopping day of the holiday season," Professor Huddleston said.

Because people have the option of online shopping, too, which is expected to increase by 16% this year.

She explained, "People are busy and I think they like to take advantage of sales when they see them. And, whether they call it a Black Friday deal or not, a discount is a discount."

And, starting deals earlier makes it easier for shoppers.

"I think part of it is an artifact of the recession and so people had to save their money and spread out their spending, so that they don't have that huge credit card bill coming due all at once," Professor Huddleston said.

And she added that shoppers also like hitting the stores now when crowds are smaller. But, she expects there will still be plenty of people who stick with Black Friday because of tradition.