Major retailers in Longview have prepared for today and Black Friday — generally regarded as the busiest days for shopping during the year nationwide — for higher sales than on the same days in 2018 as consumers seek bargains on clothing, appliances and other merchandise.
“We are expecting probably about a 30% increase (in sales), because we have 140 new items,” said Vernon Weaver, manager of the Walmart Supercenter on Estes Parkway.
However, WalletHub, the personal finance website, reported 27% of consumers will spend less on holiday shopping this year than in 2018, citing its holiday shopping survey.
Over at Walmart, which is open 24 hours, Weaver said popular merchandise that will be stocked for sales starting 6 p.m. today and through all day Friday will be two-piece pajamas for children, memory foam fashion boots and flat-screen TVs.
Weaver said the store, which has 275 employees, will have anywhere from 60% to 75% more employees on duty today and Friday to handle the volume of customers than on a typical day.
Like Walmart, the manager of the Kohl’s store on North Eastman Road expects a higher sales volume and to have more workers on duty. Kohl’s will be open beginning at 5 p.m. today and close at midnight Friday.
Kohl’s manager Paul Sundholm said he expects sales to be 4% higher based on a national trend. He said that includes online orders made at kiosks inside the store, on the Kohl’s app and from consumers ordering online for shipment to the store.
“We are looking for a strong year even though online (sales) may be up and brick-and-mortar may be down,” he said.
Sundholm, who has been manager for 3 1/2 years, said Kohl’s is building on key merchandise categories for people shopping during the holidays.
“We’ve got a lot more toys this year,” he said. He said appliances will be popular with shoppers, along with weighted blankets.
While Best Buy — along with a majority of the stores in the Longview Mall — will be open today, other major retailers, including Office Depot and Home Depot on Loop 281 and Lowe’s on North Fourth Street, will mark Black Friday traditionally by opening Friday.
In any case, it gives the stores an extra day to prepare for shoppers.
“We’ve done everything from stocking to cleaning to making sure we have everything on hand,” said Michele Wells, pro services manager at Lowe’s. “We are making sure we have a clean and safe store.”
“Everything electronic” will perform well at Lowe’s, she said.
Shoppers can look for bargains such as “doorbusters” inside stores, in advertisements or on apps or store websites.
Meanwhile, WalletHub reported the following highlights:
■ More than 12% of items at major retailers will cost more on Black Friday than their current prices on Amazon.com .
■ Jewelry will offer the most value on Black Friday this year in relation to its current prices, while consumer electronics are expected to offer the least rewarding deals.
■ Some consumers already have access to little-known credit card benefits that can come in handy over the holidays, including price-drop protection and coverage for damaged or stolen items.
■ Most of the major retailers offering 0% financing use deferred interest, which has the potential to make the holiday purchases up to 27.5 times more expensive than expected.