According to the latest survey conducted by BIGresearch for the National Retail Federation, 132.9 million Americans will venture into the shopping fray this weekend.
Melissa Pearce, a supervisor at the Best Buy in Spanish Springs expected the store to be stuffed the day after Thanksgiving.
“People start coming between midnight and 1 a.m.,” Pearce said. “Last year people were lined up almost to the Old Navy down the way at opening time.”
Average Black Friday sales have increased by 4.76 percent over the past decade, according to the federation.
However, holiday sales as a percentage of the sales industry have also decreased from 20.69 percent in 1994 to 19.59 percent in 2006.
Whatever the turnout, retailers across Sparks and Reno prepared for a massive rush.
“I think everybody is working for the most part,” Best Buy worker Jose Rodrigez said.
Kats Koffee provided a little caffeine at Best Buy this morning and ClearWire brought food.
“We’ve been planning for the past few months,” Pearce said. “We were making sure that there is an easy path of access so customers can maneuver through the store.”
Pearce met with all her fellow staff members at 4:30 this morning to discuss their game plan. The store opened at 5 a.m.
“The morning is just crazy,” Pearce said. “If you want to beat the crowds, come at night. It is just dead.”
The National Retail Federation also predicted that sales will rise 4 percent this year to $474.5 billion. The 2007 holiday sales increase is expected to fall below the 10-year average of 4.76 percent. It would represent the slowest holiday sales growth since 2002, when sales rose only 1.3 percent.