Higher volume of early bird shoppers expected this year ahead of Black Friday

    (WHAM photo)

    ROCHESTER, N.Y. - Black Friday is still a whole week away, but many are already on the hunt for those door buster deals.

    This year, 60 percent of shoppers planned to start their holiday buying before Thanksgiving.

    Donna Drews is nearly done with her holiday shopping. She's not one to wait until the last minute. This year, she started buying gifts in October.

    "Just making sure that I don't go through the stress and anxiety of being too close to Christmas," she said.

    She said, this way, she avoids the crowds and gets a chance at scoring deals even ahead of Black Friday.

    "The lines are great, the sales are great," she added.

    According to a survey of 4,000 people conducted by Deloitte, Drews is among 21 percent of people who planned to buy gifts before November which is typically the start of the holiday season.

    "November 1 hit, and we have been consistently busy for true holiday shopping," said Leah Kohler, store manager for Von Maur.

    She said there's an influx of early bird shoppers, and she is anticipating it will be a good holiday season for retailers at the Eastview Mall.

    "I think the weather, especially today, has helped out. It's kind of getting everyone in that spirit," she added.

    Deloitte's survey also found early shoppers spend about $370 more than those who start their shopping later.

    Eastview's General Manager, Mike Kauffman, said more retailers are offering a mix of both online and in person shopping.

    "We are finding retailers are becoming a lot more savvy," he said.

    Meanwhile, shoppers like Sandra Gross admit it's not all about an early start. "We make a list and we say, every year, we are going to start - and we never do," she said.

    Kauffman said the Eastview Mall is officially closed on Thanksgiving Day. That means only some stores, like big retailers, will be open.

    The earliest those stores will open their doors is 2 p.m.

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