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Shoppers search for deals

Krystle Wagner • Nov 25, 2017 at 2:00 PM

The 2017 holiday shopping season is now officially underway.

About 69 percent of Americans — 164 million people — plan to shop this weekend, according to a survey by Prosper Insights & Analytics and the National Retail Federation. Although some stores opened with sales on Thanksgiving, a majority of shoppers — 115 million — planned to shop on Black Friday.

Grand Haven resident Karen Moore was one of those who was in search of gifts on Friday morning.

“It’s crazy, I know,” said Moore, who was shopping for her three grandchildren and two grandnieces. “I know I can do it online, but I like to see the stuff.”

According to the national survey, 66 percent planned to take advantage of deals, and 26 percent of people said it was a tradition to shop on Black Friday.

Finding gifts and checking items off her list on Black Friday has been a tradition for Moore, who said she’s shopped that day for the past 10 years. She typically waits until about 7 a.m. to hit the stores in order to avoid the early crowds.

The deals and the opportunity to get her Christmas shopping done in one day is what gets Moore to the stores, she said.

Although shoppers flocked to stores the past two days, millions of shoppers plan to continue this weekend. About 71 million people indicated they planned to shop Saturday, and 76 percent of those shoppers noted they’re shopping specifically on that day to support Small Business Saturday.

According to the survey, about 35 million people planned to shop on Sunday, and about 78 million planned to shop on Cyber Monday.

Throughout the week, Meijer offered deals throughout the store. The Midwest store also offered one-day deals on Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Thanksgiving is one of the store’s busiest days, with people shopping for gifts and last-minute items for their feasts, said Meijer spokesperson Joe Hirschmugl.

Hirschmugl said they see customers doing their Christmas shopping as part of their weekly grocery shopping, and they plan to offer deals throughout the season to help shoppers complete their lists.

Some of the top items this year include Hatchimals, Paw Patrol toys and Nerf toys.

Shipt, the Meijer home delivery service, is expected to increase in popularity this season. Hirschmugl said they’ve tried to open the store to all shoppers by having access to more than 70,000 items that can be delivered. Some of those items now include wrapping paper, trees and decorations.

If shoppers are interested in checking out the deals in person, Moore said they shouldn’t feel discouraged by the crowds. With earlier discounts and people shopping online, Moore said she doesn’t think the crowds are as bad as they used to be.

“It’s really kind of fun,” she said.

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