HONOLULU (KHON2) — Black Friday is expected to bring new records. The National Retail Federation is estimating more than 166 million shoppers will be hitting the stores Friday, despite inflation.
This marks the highest estimated projection since the federation began tracking the data in 2017.
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In Hawaii, shoppers are expected to pack malls and retailers are spending Thanksgiving preparing for the rush. From counting inventory to putting up displays, retailers like Hawaii’s Finest Clothing in Ala Moana Center are finishing up final touches Thursday, Nov. 24.
“Yesterday was mostly all the shirts, all the folding, making sure the essential stuff is out,” said Kala Burnett of Hawaii’s Finest Clothing. “Today is more the small stuff, putting out all the signs making sure everything is tagged right.”
Barriers are already setup outside of Hawaii’s Finest Clothing to help organize crowds.
The Retail Merchants of Hawaii said, despite some stores starting sales in early October, many shoppers are still expected to come out on Black Friday.
“It’s a synergy that’s there with seeing all the other shoppers and trying to get that deal,” said Tina Yamaki, Retail Merchants of Hawaii President.
The Retail Merchants of Hawaii said for many local businesses, Black Friday is make it or break it. It’s urging shoppers to support local.
“A lot of retailers still have a lot of debt incurred from the pandemic, because they still need to pay their back rent, they still took out loans and a whole bunch of other stuff. They’re still chasing inflation,” Yamaki said.
As crowds are expected to cash in on deals on Black Friday, retailers are asking customers to shop with aloha.
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“We’ll definitely be as much of a help as we can throughout the whole day. So just bare with us. It’s definitely going to be chaotic in here,” Burnett said.