Retailers are still having big deals this Black Friday despite the ‘waiting game’ for supplies

Novi – A line of shoppers marched around the corner of the Best Buy store in Novi ahead of its opening at 5 a.m. on Friday, as shoppers braved the cold in search of deals on laptops, TVs and phones. hard to find game consoles.

Global supply chain challenges and labor shortages don’t stop large retailers and small businesses from offering Black Friday sales and envisioning the strongest holiday season in nearly of a quarter of a century.

Although many stores, including Walmart Inc. and Target Corp., have closed their doors again on Thanksgiving Day, global consulting firm AlixPartners predicts that US holiday retail sales will increase by 10-13%. compared to last year’s holiday season for the strongest holiday sales period since 1999.

Shoppers started lining up outside Best Buy around 3 a.m. on the front line, ”McCann said.

Others were less optimistic: “It really isn’t worth it for us,” said Paul Calin, 27, of Farmington Hills, who was bundled up in a winter coat this morning at 28 degrees to get a laptop for school. “The offers are good. It’s too cold.”

Demand remains strong after consumers saved their money and paid off debts after facing more than a year of uncertainty caused by the pandemic. Consumers are now looking to spend some cash this holiday season. Sales range from TVs under $ 300 at Target to $ 199 recliners at Big Lots Inc.

“America saved money during the shutdown,” said James Hines, professor of economics at the University of Michigan. “People want things. They pushed things back, and government programs have driven demand and continue to drive demand.”

Sierra Duncan, 22, of Northville pushed a flatbed cart with three TVs to the vehicle after a successful Best Buy shopping expedition.

“The TVs were all at least $ 100 off,” she said. “I always flip through the pages for ads and stuff. Then we go to Old Navy for clothes of the year.”

Sebastian Semma, 20, from Novi and his parent Joe Badro, 22, from West Bloomfield loaded multiple TVs up to 70 inches into their vehicles.

“I just bought a house,” Semma said. “He just bought a house. We saved a lot of money.”

Daniel Ramon, 55, from Livonia had just left his job at Stellantis NV’s Sterling Heights assembly plant and switched to Best Buy for two LED light rings: “They’re for my daughters,” he said. he declares. “I put them up for sale.” The next stop was Target.

Rebellious nell, a Detroit-based artisanal jewelry store looking to hire people who face barriers to employment, will be ready for shoppers with enough supplies and staff on the day it opens its Twelve Oaks Mall location on Black Friday. . For the occasion, the store is offering 25% off its sale items.

“This is a unique year for small businesses,” said Amy Peterson, Co-Founder and CEO of Rebel Nell. “I think none of us know what to expect because we are still not safe from COVID. I hope the push and support for small business is still here because we we actually need it more this year. “

After the lingering challenges of the pandemic, the holiday season “is a great opportunity for small businesses to offset that by being a place where people think about buying their holiday gift,” said Peterson. “It really makes a huge difference, not just to small businesses and small business owners, but to the community they serve as well as the people they employ.”

Despite the boost to the economy from increased holiday spending, there are concerns about rising inflation caused, in part, by low supply and high demand. The pandemic has crushed the global supply chain, slowing the manufacturing and delivery of products and forcing companies to struggle to meet demand.

Delorean Ferrell, 35, of Novi began waiting outside Best Buy in hopes of snatching up a PlayStation 5, a game console whose production has been hit by the global shortage of microchips: “I don’t not even know if they have it, “he said. . “I hope.”

This location, however, did not have the PS5 in stock when its doors opened. The shelves of the Nintendo Switch were also bare.

Others didn’t see the sales they were hoping for: “I was looking for a good deal on the new iPhone,” Kumar Guru, 30, of Farmington Hills said of another product hit by the shortage semiconductors. “They didn’t really have any.”

The consumer price index rose 6.2% from October 2020 to October 2021, marking the largest increase since the period ending in November 1990, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The level of rising inflation could stifle economic growth, but beyond that it could seriously affect the prices of some goods and services more than others.

“Part of the difficulty is that there is no single rate of inflation for the entire economy,” Hines said. “Different things people buy inflate at different rates. … It’s not like the inflation rate for the whole economy is 6%; it’s not like each price has gone up 6% – some have gone up 10% and others by 2%. really hits people. “

He cited older people who might find that the price of home health care is going up “and their purchasing power has just fallen by 30%”.

Marilyn Pancake of Northville, who describes herself as “over 75,” chose a replacement for her 14-year-old television: “I wanted to buy myself a new television. I think it’s a big enough purchase that I got along with this. “

Krispy Addicts Clothing Boutique, a streetwear seller based in downtown Detroit and on historic Avenue of Fashion, has yet to experience “normal” Black Friday. There was work on Avenue Livernois in 2019 and 2020 had COVID-19 pandemic protocols. This year, supply chain issues are causing delays of up to a month in delivering goods, but the small business has been creative in making up for those delays by expanding its merchandise line with products it it manufactures in Detroit.

“It’s a waiting game, so we just make our own stuff,” said co-owner Charles Micheaux. “It was one of our agenda items to make sure we had enough to do it, not just on Black Friday, but during the holiday season.”

Micheaux is confident the store will hit its mark with a Black Friday sale offering up to 50% off everything in the store on clothing brands like Paper Plane and Staple. A special early bird offer runs from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. and offers a 30% discount on everything.

“It’s important,” Micheaux said of the holiday shopping season. “It’s really important. We’ve been so out of balance since we opened up to the streetscape and the pandemic. It’s really our normal. We conquer. We live on it.”

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