Many Missouri shoppers set their alarms to wake them before the sun was up so they could head to stores early Friday morning to hunt for deep Black Friday discounts at retailers.
For some shoppers, early Friday morning wasn’t early enough, as bargain hunters took advantage of stores that opened on Thanksgiving.
In Kansas City, people lined up to get into area Best Buys and other stores that opened Thursday evening. Other stores that were open included Wal-Mart, Target and Kohls.
In St. Louis, shoppers packed stores looking for doorbuster deals at retailers across the area, with store managers reporting an uptick in shoppers from last year.
The National Retail Federation, the nation’s largest retail group, expects holiday sales to rise 3.6 percent for November and December, better than the 3 percent growth seen for those months last year. That excludes car sales, gas and restaurant receipts but includes online spending and other nonstore sales like catalog spending. The group estimates that nonstore sales should rise 7 to 10 percent.
This weekend is crucial to set the tone for the season. Still, many retailers this year opted out of the recent trend of Thanksgiving Day sales and gave their employees the day off.