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Shoppers line up on Black Friday (and Thursday, too)

by Lynde Langdon
Posted 11/23/18, 12:55 pm

The Christmas shopping season officially kicks off with Black Friday, but early bird shoppers in stores that opened Thursday evening have already snatched up some of the season’s most popular items. reported that Target had sold out of the Nintendo Switch, Apple Watch, PlayStation 4, and Instant Pot pressure cooker by Friday morning. Walmart also ran out of the PlayStation 4 and Instant Pot on Thursday. An estimated 116 million Americans planned to go shopping Friday, according to an annual survey from the National Retail Federation.

Retailers are trying to get shoppers into their stores, but this year they’re also trying to get them out faster. Walmart, Target, and others are sending workers throughout the stores to check out customers with mobile devices. And at stores like Macy’s, shoppers can scan and pay for items on their own smartphones. Those measures have brought the traffic levels in many stores from dangerous to merely chaotic, but police in the Birmingham, Ala., area are investigating a shooting at the Riverchase Galleria mall Thursday night. Officers shot and killed a gunman who wounded two victims, including a 12-year-old girl, near a Footaction store. It is unclear what led up to the incident.

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Lynde Langdon

Lynde is a WORLD Digital’s managing editor and reports on popular and fine arts. She lives in Wichita, Kan., with her husband and two daughters. Follow Lynde on Twitter @lmlangdon.

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