Black Friday: Where has the madness gone?

GRAND CHUTE, Wis. (WBAY) – For a lot of shoppers, hitting Black Friday sales has just become a tradition more so than a hunt for good deals.

A lot of retailers have been open since 3 o’clock, 5 o’clock, 6 o’clock Thursday night.

But consumer experts are saying not as many retailers are wanting to cut into Thanksgiving dinner as in recent years — not just for employees’ sake but also because they’ve learned more shoppers would rather do that Thanksgiving shopping online.

We spoke to Kevin Quinn, professor of economics at St. Norbert College in De Pere. He says the economy is doing better and shoppers will be willing to spend more this year, but they’re also become more aware that may in-person Black Friday shopping deals can also be found online.

This is also another holiday season without a hot “must-have” item. The hottest items in short supply appear to be Hatchimals and the Nintendo NES Classic — which is selling for up to five times its retail price at eBay — but these don’t seem to be driving must-have madness like Tickle Me Elmo or Cabbage Patch Kids of years gone by. 4K TV’s and smart TV’s are also very popular this season as their prices plunge, but there are plenty to choose from.

Another factor, a lot of folks aren’t as interested in dealing with the crowds as the hard-core Black Friday shoppers.

We spoke to some Black Friday shoppers who noticed a difference this year.

“It actually hasn’t been as crazy as it’s been in previous years. We just stood in line for about five minutes and that was the most we’ve had to stand in line all night, so it hasn’t been bad,” Erica Nelson said.

“Nobody wants to be identified as the idiot shopper that makes a fool of themselves, you know, tearing away some product from some poor little old lady so they can put it under the tree in the spirit of Christmas,” Quinn remarked.

Consumer experts say shopping is also about mood: Seeing as the economy is doing a little better, shoppers in the U.S. may spend up to $27 billion over the holidays.

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