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Shoppers up early to score Black Friday deals at Massachusetts malls

Wrentham officials warned of traffic backups as early-morning risers hit the road early on Black Friday to try to score some serious deals at Massachusetts stores. The Wrentham Outlets, which was closed on Thanksgiving, opened before sunrise. Traffic was backed up on Interstate 495 approaching the outlets before 9 am”Everyone seems happy & nice in spite of insane traffic. Tis the season I guess. If you lose patience in traffic, reverse direction, go home, eat leftovers, shop another time Enjoy the sales! McGrath posted on Twitter.At the Burlington Mall, shoppers were in line before 6 am at the Lego store and GameStop.Despite the fact that many stores have been offering deals ahead of Black Friday, shoppers still want to take advantage of the sales in person “Discounts anywhere from 40, to 50, to 65 off — a lot of these offers are only in store. The retailers want you to come in and experience shopping. It’s the touch, the try, the feel and the buy,” said Sheila Hennessy, of the Burlington Mall. The Burlington Mall may look different for some shoppers — there are 33 new stores at the shopping center. While Black Friday marks a return to familiar holiday shopping patterns, inflation is weighing on consumers. Elevated prices for food, rent, gasoline and other household costs have taken a toll on shoppers. As a result, many are reluctant to spend unless there is a big sale and are being more selective with what they will buy — in many cases, trading down to cheaper stuff and less expensive stores. Shoppers are also dipping more into their savings, turning increasingly to “buy now, pay later” services like Afterpay that allow users to pay for items in installments, as well as running up their credit cards at a time when the Federal Reserve rates are hiking to cool the US economy. This year’s trends are a contrast to a year ago when consumers were buying early out of fear of not getting what they needed amid clogs in the supply network. Stores didn’t have to discount much because they were struggling to bring in items. The National Retail Federation expects holiday sales growth will slow to a range of 6% to 8%, from the blistering 13.5% growth of a year ago. However, these figures, which include online spending, aren’t adjusted for inflation so real spending could even be down from a year ago. Adobe Analytics expects online sales to be up 2.5% from Nov. 1 through Dec. 31, a slowdown from last year’s 8.6% pace when shoppers were uncertain about returning to physical stores. Analysts consider the five-day Black Friday weekend, which includes Cyber ​​Monday, a key barometer of shoppers’ willingness to spend, particularly this year. The two-month period between Thanksgiving and Christmas represents about 20% of the retail industry’s annual sales.The Associated Press contributed to this report.Video: Mark your calendars: Here’s New England’s holiday shipping deadlinesVideo: Shoppers up early to snag Black Friday deals

Wrentham officials warned of traffic backups as early-morning risers hit the road early on Black Friday to try to score some serious deals at Massachusetts stores.

The Wrentham Outlets, which were closed on Thanksgiving, opened before sunrise. Traffic was backed up on Interstate 495 approaching the outlets before 9 am

“Everyone seems happy & nice in spite of insane traffic. Tis the season I guess. If you lose patience in traffic, reverse direction, go home, eat leftovers, shop another time. Enjoy the sales!” McGrath posted on Twitter.

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At the Burlington Mall, shoppers were in line before 6 am at the Lego store and GameStop.

Despite the fact that many stores have been offering deals ahead of Black Friday, shoppers still want to take advantage of the sales in person.

“Discounts anywhere from 40, to 50, to 65 off — a lot of these offers are only in store. The retailers want you coming in and experiencing shopping. It’s the touch, the try, the feel and the buy,” said Sheila Hennessy, of the Burlington Mall.

The Burlington Mall may look different for some shoppers–there are 33 new stores at the shopping center.

While Black Friday marks a return to familiar holiday shopping patterns, inflation is weighing on consumers.

Elevated prices for food, rent, gasoline and other household costs have taken a toll on shoppers. As a result, many are reluctant to spend unless there is a big sale and are being more selective with what they will buy–in many cases, trading down to cheaper stuff and less expensive stores.

Shoppers are also dipping more into their savings, turning increasingly to “buy now, pay later” services like Afterpay that allow users to pay for items in installments, as well as running up their credit cards at a time when the Federal Reserve rates are hiking. to cool the US economy.

This year’s trends are a contrast to a year ago when consumers were buying early out of fear of not getting what they needed amid clogs in the supply network. Stores didn’t have to discount much because they were struggling to bring in items.

The National Retail Federation expects holiday sales growth will slow to a range of 6% to 8%, from the blistering 13.5% growth of a year ago. However, these figures, which include online spending, aren’t adjusted for inflation so real spending could even be down from a year ago.

Adobe Analytics expects online sales to be up 2.5% from Nov. 1 through Dec. 31, a slowdown from last year’s 8.6% pace when shoppers were uncertain about returning to physical stores.

Analysts consider the five-day Black Friday weekend, which includes Cyber ​​Monday, a key barometer of shoppers’ willingness to spend, particularly this year. The two-month period between Thanksgiving and Christmas represents about 20% of the retail industry’s annual sales.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Video: Mark your calendars: Here’s New England’s holiday shipping deadlines

Video: Shoppers up early to snag Black Friday deals

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