The Latest: Analyst says Black Friday off to strong start

NEW YORK (AP) – Analyst Rod Sides of Deloitte LLP says Black Friday shopping is off to “a really good start.”

Based on reports from his team who were in stores and malls over the past 24 hours, discounters like Target and Wal-Mart drew big crowds for door busters on Thursday. The attention is now shifting to mall stores Friday. He said based on checks at Macy’s, Dillard’s and Belks, accessories like shoes and handbags drew the most attention.

Sides acknowledged there are no new must haves and many of the big items like instapots were highlighted in past Black Friday circulars. But he says a good shopping season doesn’t depend on new items.

“Black Friday isn’t as important as it was in the past, but it is still the biggest shopping day,” Sides said. “It is the most critical barometer of spending.”

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