DOVER — The National Retail Federation’s (NRF) consumer surveys indicated that roughly 137.4 million or six in 10 Americans, plan to or are considering shopping during Thanksgiving weekend.
The numbers include in-store and online shopping from Thursday through Sunday.
Black Friday is still the most popular day to shop across all age groups.
On Cyber Monday, 36 percent of consumers plan to shop online, up from 34 percent in 2015, the NRF’s report said.
A quick look around Dover on Thursday afternoon would have certainly confirmed these expectations.
Tori Brakefield, a college student from Dover planning to finish shopping for all 11 of her nieces and nephews, was among the first in line at Target at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday.
“I’m looking for toys mostly, maybe one of those new retro Nintendos if they have them,” she said.
Ms. Brakefield actually has shifted her full celebration of Thanksgiving because stores open for the Christmas shopping season on Thanksgiving day now.
“I have Thanksgiving dinner on Wednesday every year now,” she said. “I’m a college student, so I have to pay tuition and buy all these Christmas presents so I have to get the best deal I can. I’m broke! I spent all morning finishing a paper so I can come out and stay out tonight.”
Target was just the first stop on her annual shopping odyssey that will take her to both ends of Delaware.
“I plan on being at Cabela’s at 5 a.m. tomorrow because they’re giving out coupons to the first people in line,” she said. “I go all night and into Friday night. I’m going to be in Dover all day, then I’ll go up to Christiana tonight and then I’m going down south to the outlets Friday afternoon. I do it every year.”
Just a little up Route 13 at Best Buy, Rochelle Stringer of Charles County, Maryland, was braving the rain that started at around 4:30 p.m. on Thursday.
She’d been determined to secure spot number one in line, and did so by showing up in the wee hours of Thanksgiving Day.
“I showed up first at 3 a.m. and no one was even here yet. So I ended up coming back at 6 a.m. and still got to be first in line,” she said.
Ms. Stringer was peering though the window a half hour before Best Buy opened, but she already knew the path she’d take to start crossing the items off her list.
“I got the map already so I can go straight to the tablets,” she said. “Then, I already have a ticket for a TV. I’m going to grab a Samsung Galaxy, and iPad and a Playstation 4.
“The deals are worth wait for, you can’t beat them — practically half off.”
Although she was there taking care of Christmas shopping for her grandson, son and nephews, Ms. Stringer said that she’d probably be treating herself as well.
She may have stood in line all day, but she didn’t let waiting in line interrupt her holiday feasting.
“For breakfast I did a nice GNC protein drink, and for dinner my sister brought me out some Thanksgiving turkey she’d cooked at her house,” Ms. Stringer said. “She brought it out in a plastic container and it was still nice and hot. There was turkey, sweet potatoes, dressing and the whole deal.”
Ms. Stringer said she prefers to shop in Dover over staying in Maryland because there’s no sales tax and less people and less “hustle and bustle.”
Reach staff writer Ian Gronau at firstname.lastname@example.org