Lines varied from store to store but people were out in force getting a start to their Christmas shopping. Shoppers told KUT the lines depended on what store you went to…and at what time.
La France Yarbrough said checkout was pretty fast at an Austin Walmart at about 3:30 a.m. He bought a new 42 inch TV before heading to Best Buy to look for a bluetooth.
“I’ve been pretty successful; I bought a whole bunch of stuff I shouldn’t have,” Yarbrough said. “Actually I didn’t do this last year just because I couldn’t afford it last year, and I’m not saying I could afford it this year either, I’m just saying it’s a little better this year.”
Local economist Angelos Angelou was also doing his part to stimulate the local economy. He shopped with his family at Barton Creek Mall this morning and said there weren’t as many people as he expected. Nevertheless, Angelou predicts overall spending will pick up throughout this holiday season.
“I would expect that Christmas shopping will pick up a little bit this year, the economy has stabilized, we don’t have the uncertainty that we had during the last Christmas season, personal income has been going up, so I would expect that we’ll have a moderate increase in Christmas sales,” said Angelou.
This year shoppers are also finding “smarter” ways to buy with new iPhone and Android apps. For example, ShopSavvy has an app that lets shoppers scan barcodes to see where they can find an item the cheapest, or closest to home.
Elvira Vaughn of Mission, Texas was in town for Thursday’s UT/A&M game but went scouting Black Friday deals this morning. Vaughn said she prefers to shop from home.
“Everything that I could buy online I bought online, so we’re out here looking for some things that we couldn’t get online or that because you have to pay shipping we didn’t want to do that. But if you get 40 percent off free shipping why not?”