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Fewer people out early on Black Friday

More are choosing to shop online or utilize curbside services - News 11's Cody Lee reporting

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - Retailers ushered in the unofficial start to the holiday shopping season today with bigger crowds than last year in a closer step toward normalcy. However, there weren't many long lines outside of stores early Friday morning.

Compared to last year, shoppers are expected to pay an average of between 5% to 17% more for toys, clothing, appliances, TVs and other purchases this Black Friday.

Some showed up Friday morning. But instead of coming out super early, many didn’t begin shopping till midday.

“Well, I'm coming here to look for toys because, you know, we have grandchildren; we have to buy all the toys,” shopper Alma Conad shared.

She says she prefers shopping in store.

“I prefer going into the store because that way I look at the things, and I read what they have on the labels and all the kids' ages and everything. And to me, it's easier that way. But if they don't have it, then I look online," she added.

But by the looks of the parking lots before sunrise, you wouldn’t even be able to tell it’s Black Friday. This comes as more are choosing to shop online and not wanting to battle long lines early in the morning.

“I just let my finger do the talking for me and walk it for me and I just shop online. It seems so much better,” said Amalia Pharmes.

She had a bad experience that made her choose a new route.

“In the past, I used to have to get up early in the morning. The last time I did, I almost got beat by someone over a toy and that was the last time I decided to come out.”

Cody Lee live on News 11 & FOX 9 Sunrise

So with the non-existent lines Friday morning, what’s that mean for small businesses on Small Business Saturday?

“You see that enjoyment and excitement, you know, a more normal shopping happens,” explained Samantha Fridger & Deborah Foxford, who own Bare Naked Soap Co. in downtown Yuma.

They tell News 11 things have been picking up whether it be online or at their storefront.

“Before it was like this with, you know, back last year and then it kind of leveled back out to where it was this year. And we're seeing all our customers coming back feeling comfortable," the sisters added.

Regardless of what way you’re shopping, according to the National Retail Federation, sales on Black Friday are expected to surge 20% from a year ago as store traffic comes back.

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Cody Lee

Cody Lee joined 13 On Your Side and KYMA News 11 in March 2020, but he’s no stranger to Arizona. He grew up in the Phoenix area and enjoys everything Arizona has to offer.

You can contact Cody at

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