WATERTOWN, Mass. (AP) â¿¿ Thousands of Black Friday shoppers, many squeezed by economic uncertainties, lined up in freezing overnight temperatures or got up early to snag the best bargains to kick off the holiday shopping season in Massachusetts.
With high unemployment, a slow economic recovery and a looming "fiscal cliff," many residents said they're shopping smarter this year, sniffing out deals online and doing a lot more comparison shopping. Others complained about shops opening on Thanksgiving, infringing on family time and forcing retail workers to work on a holiday.
Kala Gurung looked happy and satisfied as she walked out of Best Buy at the Watertown Mall on Friday, accompanied by her 6-year-old son, Adrian. She bought phones, and Adrian will soon get an iPad.
Gurung, who works at a private consultancy firm, said she plans to spend just over $500 on holiday shopping, slightly more than what she spent last year.
"No, we'd definitely not go over the budget because of the economic situation, but we'll be buying a little bit more," the 31-year-old Watertown resident said.
Joe Russell was hunting for a great deal on a large flat-screen TV and went to the Best Buy store in Watertown shortly after midnight Friday, but the long line of shoppers gunning for door-buster promotions deterred him from braving the cold. He returned to the store after sunrise and got a different TV for "a decent price."
"This is the earliest I've ever shopped. Usually I wait until two weeks before Christmas then I go," Russell said.
Russell isn't setting a budget for this year's shopping. "I really want to go with the flow there. If I can get it, I get it â¿¿ I get some overtime coming up, so I'm gonna kind of put that away" for holiday shopping, he said.