Camaraderie of Black Friday campers - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Camaraderie of Black Friday campers

Amarillo, TX - Eager shoppers have been camping out on Black Friday for the once-a-year discount for decades, hoping to save on big ticket items.  But some campers say the camping experience is a reward unto itself.

Black Friday has been the busiest shopping day of the year since 2003, followed closely by the day after Christmas.  The term originally described the horrendous traffic, specifically in Philadelphia, on the day after Thanksgiving, but by the sixties, retailers had incorporated it into their own vocabulary and operations to enter the coming shopping season with a boom.

And steep discounts on big-ticket items mean some retailers, like Best Buy, always see campers, as manager Sean Medina says, "They're out early this year.  They're loyal, and I appreciate that, but the line will usually wrap around the store."

Most of the people I spoke with this afternoon say laptops and big-screen TV's are at the top of their lists.  But some say the experience itself is reason for participation.

Tulia resident Kendra Earl says she and her daughter have a Black Friday tradition, saying, "We do this every year; last year was the first year we didn't come to Best Buy, but otherwise we're always here, try to get first in line every year. It's just a fun girl's couple of days - camp out, watch movies, eat snacks, and shop."

American retailers are watching this year's shopping season very carefully - slowly rising consumer confidence may help buffer the effects of continuing recession.

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