Retailers see new Black Friday shopping trends

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - As the weekend of holiday shopping madness comes to a close, retailers are now crunching numbers to see how they fared.

What they are finding is a spike in sales, but not from the traditional big bargains of Black Friday.

Take for example the Kmart in Huntsville: they opened their doors three different times Thursday.

"That extra door buster at 8 p.m. Thursday, really drew in the extra traffic," said Kmart store manager Terry Cox.

It made Thanksgiving a much bigger day than Black Friday.

For locally owned stores not open Thursday, the weekend was key.

"Saturday was huge. Black Friday we were a little under, but between Friday and Saturday we were up from this year to last year," said The Toy Place owner Susan Blevins.

Many retailers are also seeing shoppers shifting from "bricks" to "clicks."

"It is shifting a lot in that direction. I do not think it is hurting our total in-store sales, but it is adding a lot of external sales," said Cox.

As online sales skyrocket, some small retailers without web sites are concerned they could be losing business to the Internet.

For those trying to hang on to that "neighborhood store" appeal, making the switch is a tough call.

"At some point down the road, I am open-minded to expanding in that direction. I am hesitant though because you lose a lot of the bells and whistles," said Blevins.

In the meantime, as retailers of all sizes grapple with these changes, they are just glad the holiday shopping season is off to a good start.

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