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Black Friday: numbers up, dollars down

Black Friday shoppers braved cold temperatures and long lines waiting for laptop and Playstation deals at Farragut’s Best Buy.

Shoppers lined across eight Turkey Creek storefronts, three-to-four people deep, from Best Buy to Marshalls. Tickets for “hot ticket” items were handed out at about 4:30 a.m.

Michael Belcher, Bearden High School senior waiting for a Playstation 3, began his wait at 9:30 p.m., Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 26.

“We’ve made friends in line, saved spots for each other and got food that way,” Belcher said.

“Something I found out is that if you park in a handicap spot with the right tags, are drunk, and after getting out of your car once, decide to move it about 50 feet in the same parking lot, a cop can arrest you. That was the big excitement for tonight. That actually happened,” Belcher said.

At 3:30 a.m., Glen Hill was waiting near the front of the Best Buy line.

He said, “I haven’t been in the paper since way back when I had my nose bitten by a lizard.”

Hill had been in line since 5 p.m., Thanksgiving Day, waiting for a laptop. Seven of his family members joined him on the “hunt.”

Wayne Rader, Best Buy general manager, said, “There’s a couple up front who has been coming [to Best Buy] for at least 13 years. It’s a family tradition for them. We have a bigger turnout than last year, even though police won’t allow shoppers to camp out like our [Best Buy off Town and Country Road].”

“We’re excited about getting new customers for our store,” he added.

As sales results for the Black Friday weekend firm up, the National Retail Federation has confirmed what was expected: More holiday shoppers spent less this year.

According to the NRF's Black Friday shopping survey, conducted by BIGresearch, 195 million shoppers visited stores and Web sites over the Black Friday weekend, up from 172 million last year. However, average spending over the weekend dropped to $343.31 per person from $372.57 a year ago. Total spending reached an estimated $41.2 billion.


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