MONROE, Ohio — Tri-State shoppers faced big lines at retailers before sunrise on Black Friday.
“It was terrible,” said shopper Darris Storms. “Eating all that good food, then having to get up early. I didn’t like it.”
Storms was one of many shoppers at Best Buy at 5 a.m., hoping to get a deal on a 40-inch television. He woke up at 5 a.m.
“Yeah, it was worth it,” he said.
The National Retail Federation expected 158 million people to shop in person and online this weekend. The number would surpass 2020 but fall short of 2019.
Despite online deals, early morning shoppers said they preferred the in-store experience.
“I didn’t want to wait, because it should have taken so long to reach my home,” Cyrir Oruh said, who bought a new blender.
“I never liked the online shopping thing because how long the shipping takes and then the shipping price,” said Austin Parsons, who was looking for AirPods.
Many retail stores are trying to sell the benefits of the in-store experience, especially as many online retailers are hit with shipping delays this season.
“What's really great about coming out to shop is you can take a physical gift or product home in your hands and it's ready to be wrapped and given directly to the person,” said Anne Winegardner, Director of Marketing and Business Development at Cincinnati Premium Outlets. “There's no waiting on getting your items.”
The average shopper is expected to spend just under $1,000 throughout the holidays.