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One word: Electronics
Specialty stores, departments nationwide swamped by Black Friday shoppers
November 25, 2005: 11:21 AM EST
By Aaron Smith, CNNMoney.com staff writer
A busy morning at Best Buy in New York.
A busy morning at Best Buy in New York.
Crowds line up to check out at The Apple Store at the Westfarms Mall in Farmington, Conn.
Crowds line up to check out at The Apple Store at the Westfarms Mall in Farmington, Conn.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - If you're just now headed down to the mall to pick up a discount laptop or DVD player, you might be too late.

"The public is willing to wait in a line no matter what the weather, and in North Dakota it's rather cool," said Bill Reid, general manager of Columbia Mall in Grand Forks, N.D. "The consumers certainly indicated that they know what door to stand next to get over to the electronics sections quickly."

Reid said that most mall stores opened at 6 a.m., an hour earlier than last year's Black Friday. Even still, doughty shoppers braved 12-degree chill to line up outside the mall, strategically positioning themselves to get at Sears' electronics section.

"This seems to be an electronics holiday," said Reid. "We're seeing that the prices are much better this year, whether it be a plasma TV, personal DVD player, or MP3 player, and of course iPod is the leading one in that group. The public is looking for these items."

Reid said that all DVD players retailing for $79.99 "disappeared totally in the first half hour or 45 minutes." Other hot items included a 20-inch television for $89.99 and a microwave for $48.95.

Reid said he also saw a predawn line in front of the Best Buy across the street.

Speaking from Best Buy's Minnesota headquarters, spokeswoman Paula Baldwin said that a Toshiba notebook retailing for $379.99 was "an extremely strong seller" and that a DVD player retailing for $69.99 was also proving to be a "door buster."

Circuit City has also seen a run on its $199.99 Toshiba laptop, which was the big draw for many of the 1,300 shoppers lining outside the Great Lakes Crossing mall in Michigan, according to a mall spokeswoman.

"They're going for laptops," said Mutiu Akin, manager of a Circuit City in Manhattan. Akin said that his store "still had a number" of the discount laptops at about 8:30 a.m., but they were going fast.

The busy part of the store

At the Target at Atlantic Terminal Mall in Brooklyn, the main floor was virtually deserted at about 8:45 a.m. But shoppers turned the electronics section into a zoo, snatching up iHome Clock Radios for $79.97, down from Target's regular price of $129.99, and Kodak Easy Share photo printers for $68.88, down from the regular price of $119.99.

Wal-Mart also reported that Black Friday shoppers nationwide were making beelines for the electronics section.

Sears spokesman for the northern region John Ford said electronic items, "especially anything digital," were selling "very well."

"Electronics is clearly the winner of the day," said Ford, who singled out the Kodak digital camera bundle with printer for $149 as a popular item.

Smart shoppers like Alicia Jackson, 25, of Queens, N.Y., said she thoroughly researched electronics deals at Black Friday site www.bf2005.net before heading for a Best Buy in Manhattan.

"It tells you all the sales ahead of time; that's kind of how I scoped what I wanted," said Jackson, leaving at about 9 a.m. with a DVD player under her arm.

Jackson said she planned to spend $1,000 on holiday shopping, which is more than what she spent last year, despite the pressure of rising prices for home heating.

"I feel like I just want to do it this year, I want to get into more of a Christmas spirit," said Jackson.

-- CNNMoney.com's Paul La Monica, Parija Bhatnagar and Steve Hargreaves contributed to this report.

To read more about Black Friday, click here.  Top of page

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