PORTLAND – People lined up all around the city Thursday night in anticipation of Black Friday. The strategy of a lot more retailers opening earlier than ever seems to be paying off.
For many, the long hours of waiting in line before opening is just part of the holiday experience.
“This is a tradition that we do for the last three years,” one shopper at Fred Meyer told KGW.
This year, many retailers bucked the midnight-hour opening trend for Thanksgiving Day early bird specials.
“I understand there’s no sales tax here so that's a plus for us. We’re savvy shoppers,” said Kate Goldstein who is visiting from Staten Island New York.
Many retailers are seeing more people shopping and buying this Black Friday than last year.
“We hope that's an indicator things are turning around. And so far, people are buying a lot more from us,” said Keliikoa Keohokalole at Best Buy.
Best Buy’s store manager was like a traffic cop, directing shoppers to the deals.
“We opened with a line usually down to Starbucks. That went all the way about twice as long down to Sports Authority,” Keohokalole said.
Clothing, toys and electronics are expected to be the big sellers this holiday. Spending is predicted to go up just over four percent this year.
“That would be the biggest increase since the recession began a few years ago...very very optimistic,” said Mark Champion with Morgan Stanley.
Retailers expect to take in $11.4 billion Friday alone, which is 10 percent of their profits for the year. Shoppers will spend on average almost $750, which is up about $10 from last year. But many shoppers are still being cautious.
“I look for specials. That's why I’m here,” said Grayce Barren of Beaverton.
“So far we've spent about the same. She's picking up an iphone 5, which wasn't planned we're grabbing it because it's black Friday. It's a good deal,” said Mike Donoghue, another savvy shopper.
Julie Bennett said, “this year has been a lot better than it was the year before for sure.”
And with just 47 days until Christmas, retailers are hoping for the same.
KGW reporter Joe Smith contributed to this report.