Black Friday shoppers hunt for deals amid supply chain issues

Holidays

SEEKONK, Mass. (WPRI) — The holiday shopping season is officially underway with more than 100 million Americans expected to do some sort of shopping on this Black Friday.

In Seekonk, people were out as early as 2:30 a.m. waiting in line in search of the best bargains.

Instead of unlocking the doors on Thanksgiving Day or midnight like in years past, many local stores opened early Friday morning.

Some people are dedicated, like Vanessa Jimenez who got to Best Buy at 9:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving. She tells 12 News she is on the hunt for a new TV and a Playstation 5, if they have it, but she’s not stopping there.

“I’m here at Best Buy, I plan to go to Walmart, we’re also going to do Target and then we’re going to go to Old Navy and get our Christmas pajamas… Definitely starting my Christmas shopping,” she said. “The family had gotten bigger and I have a granddaughter on the way, and I wanna just go all out with my granddaughter.”

The National Retail Federation predicts holiday sales could hit up to $859 billion in 2021 which would be a record.

However, ongoing supply chain issues have left some stores struggling to keep the shelves stocked, with toys among the items that might be hard to come by.

Jiad Abdallah waited for hours but left empty-handed because what he was looking for wasn’t in stock.

“No gaming consoles, no Nintendo switches, no Xboxes or Playstations, we’ve been waiting for three hours. Three hours and I didn’t get anything, so, it is what it is,” he said.

It’s a situation many holiday shoppers might run into.

Similarly, in Warwick, R.I., the Warwick Mall experienced long lines, crowds, and optional masks, but it’s a much different experience than last year, and that’s a good thing according to Domenic Schivione, General Manager of the Warwick Mall.

“Double-Digit increases compared to 2020. Retailers are exceeding their 2019 sales, which is a really good sign,” said Schivione.

Schivione attributed the high sales to people wanting to get out and socialize, but also wanting to ensure gifts amid continued supply chain issues.

“We’re really pushing it’s in stock so get ready to shop so that way you’re guaranteed to have your holiday gifts,” said Schivione.

Residents who did not go out for Black Friday can take part in deals offered during Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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