Central Florida shoppers line up for Black Friday deals

ORLANDO, Fla. – Thousands of Central Florida shoppers lined up outside stores early Friday as the unofficial start to the holiday shopping season got underway.

The busy start to the day was an encouraging sign for a Black Friday that came with big expectations as the country is emerging from the pandemic.

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David Huckvale was joined by dozens of shoppers at the Best Buy on Millenia Boulevard.

“I got a robot vacuum and mop (for a) killer deal,” Huckvale said. “I got it for $179. It’s what I wanted and they had plenty in stock, so it worked out great.”

This year, supply chain issues have prompted shoppers to buy gifts early with fears that some items might not be available closer to the holidays.

“I think there are issues with supply in certain areas, rural areas and stuff like this,” Leslie Smith said while shopping with her family.  “Down here, I think it’s just the stores doing the same thing.”

Black Friday also came as inflation has increased the cost of many items.

“It’s really important to get in and save as much money as you can,” Huckvale said. “It takes a lot of the stress out when you’re going into the rest of the month.”

Despite the challenges, the outlook for retailers remains positive. The National Retail Federation said compared to 2020, nearly 2 million more shoppers are expected to be in stores this year.

About the Author:

Mark Lehman became a News 6 reporter in July 2014, but he's been a Central Florida journalist and part of the News 6 team for much longer. While most people are fast asleep in their bed, Mark starts his day overnight by searching for news on the streets of Central Florida.