NEW YORK -- Eat and socialize on Thursday and shop Friday is the plan for many.
The holiday shopping season ramps up with Black Friday and Cyber Monday, estimated to be the biggest ever. But the retail landscape is rapidly changing, according to analysts, CBS2's Dave Carlin reported.
Like a unicorn is, PIQ in Hudson Yards, which specializes in toys for kids, was busy on Thanksgiving Day, when most retail stores are closed.
"Yeah, I gave the whole team off, let everybody hang out with her family, and I decided to be here to spread some happiness, man," store manager Steve Luciano said. "My family is here, born and raised in New York, but I plan to spend some time with them a little later today."
He said he expects the store to be even more crowded on Friday.
The National Retail Federation estimates 166.3 million people are planning to shop from Black Friday through Cyber Monday. That's 8 million more than last year.
"Today's shopper is very savvy when it comes to shopping around and finding what works best for them," the NRF's Katherine Cullen said.
The trend is a blending of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, where the same deals are offered on both days and over longer periods of time.
The reason: more shoppers have been turned off by all the door-buster chaos in stores -- especially now, post pandemic.
"I feel you can always get a sale. It doesn't have to be on that day, and I don't like crowds, so I prefer to do it a different time," said Tiffany Sesay, a tourist from Los Angeles.
"I have no use for Black Friday shopping," added tourist Bart Bellaire of Lafayette, Louisiana.
So the deals get extended.
Another incentive for retailers is the pandemic-delayed shipments. Eventually, product came in, but too much of it, filling warehouses. Deep discounts are designed to move that surplus inventory.
Kristin Gull, the president of Rakutan, rewards the cashback app the partners with thousands of retailers.
"They don't have space in their warehouses. They're going to lower the price on everything," Gull said.
So, the bottom line of the story will be that you can wait longer and still expect deals, but only if your shopping list is general and flexible enough.
If what you're looking for is super specific, you may want to go ahead and grab that item on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, while supplies last at the discounted prices.
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