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Some Black Friday retail habits die hard | Business News

Black Friday isn’t what it used to be for most retailers. But around New Orleans, some queues still formed for the holiday bargain blitz, with shoppers seeking special deals and trying to get their shopping done early.

The line of customers to enter Euclid Records in New Orleans is shown on Black Friday, Nov. 24, 2023. PHOTO FROM EUCLID RECORDS

About 70 vinyl enthusiasts lined up outside Euclid Records in Bywater for a not particularly early opening of 10 a.m., looking to get their hands on limited edition Black Friday releases.

While many retailers have for years been starting their seasonal sales offerings earlier and extended them beyond the Friday after Thanksgiving, the record industry has managed to keep the day special by having limited release vinyl and compact disc offerings available only on Black Friday for independent shops such as Euclid.

“This is our second-busiest day after Record Store Day in April,” co-owner Lefty Parker said.

Euclid Records co-owner Lefty Parker, center, stands in the store in New Orleans on Nov. 24, 2023. He said Black Friday remains the Bywater store’s second busiest day of the year. STAFF PHOTO BY ANTHONY McAULEY

Some of the most sought after releases included Olivia Rodrigo’s “Guts: The Secret Tracks,” a 12-inch EP on purple vinyl, with only 7,500 copies, and Prince’s “Gett Off!,” a 10-minute recording of the biggest hit from the late star’s 1991 album “Diamonds and Pearls.”

Andrew Miragliotta got his hands on one of the 7,000 copies of the Prince record for $22.99. Later it in the day, it was running $39.99 on the secondary market, according to Discogs, which tracks vinyl record prices.

Elswhere, some of the big shopping centers in the New Orleans metro area set earlier opening times for Black Friday, although few reported lengthy crack-of-dawn lines seen in years past.

Glorianne Bundick, Kamryn Barrilleaux and Adia Morrow show off items they got for deals including shoes, toner and Legos at Lakeside Shopping Center in Metairie on Black Friday, Nov. 24, 2023. STAFF PHOTO BY SOPHIA GERMER

At Lakeside Shopping Center in Metairie, the mall doors opened at 7 a.m. The crowds were sparse early on but steadily grew through the morning. By 10 a.m., a lengthy line had formed at the stall set up to pop the corks on free cava for any shoppers who could show receipts for at least $50 of shopping.

Abi Wilson, who hails from Lafayette but lives in Boston, came to Lakeside with her mother and sister. They didn’t arrive until late morning but were happy to get some free bubbly and casually search for bargains. She got six candles for half price at Bath & Body Works, saving about $75 from the regular price.

Why hadn’t she arrived earlier for bargains? “I guess I didn’t really want them that badly,” Wilson said.

Bob Livingston, who was donning a Santa cap and ringing the bell to raise money for the Salvation Army outside Dillard’s department store, said Friday seemed like a normal pre-Christmas weekend shopping crowd.

Shoppers wait in line to show receipts for a cup of cava at Lakeside Shopping Center in Metairie on Black Friday, Nov. 24, 2023. STAFF PHOTO BY SOPHIA GERMER

“Everybody goes online nowadays, don’t they,” he said.

Indeed, the trend toward online seasonal shopping has been growing since 2005 when the National Retail Federation coined the term Cyber Monday, which is the Monday after Black Friday when online shopping begins in earnest.

The federation forecasts total holiday spending to grow this year by 3% to 4%, a cooler rate than last year’s 5.3%, partly because of the high rate of inflation in the past 12 months.

Retailers are having to get inventive to bring shoppers in. Euclid Records, for example, is hosting three live punk rock bands for the Small Business Saturday weekend to keep the momentum going.

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