With more ways to shop, a relaxed Black Friday?

Nate Beck

She has heard her husband's Black Friday horror stories for years.

Head out the doors for an annual post-Thanksgiving shopping blitz? No thanks, Fond du Lac's Nikki Gietman said.

"I have little kids, so I have used them as an excuse to not go (in the past)," said Gietman, who plans on staying put instead of battling crowds after Thanksgiving. "I think for me it's about convenience. I'm willing to pay a little bit more for that."

This year, it seems, fewer shoppers will brave the cold and commotion to attend brick-and-mortar stores on Black Friday. Still, there are no shortage of ways to shop.

In 2015, 102 million shoppers nationwide trekked to stores over the Thanksgiving weekend, down from 147 million shoppers in 2012, according to the National Retail Federation. Overall traffic to brick-and-mortar stores is expected to fall about 4.5 percent from last year on Black Friday, according to data from location site Foursquare.

But here's the catch: Overall spending this year is expected to increase 3.6 percent from last year, to $655.8 billion, while online spending could increase more than 7 percent from last year, to as much as $117 billion, according to the federation.

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Gietman said though there's a Bath and Body Works inside Fond du Lac's Forest Mall, she finds herself shopping at the company's online store instead. It really is easier to do that than haul kids around town, she said.

With a slew of deals at the Outlet Shoppes at Oshkosh during the week ahead of Black Friday, shoppers say there are plenty of deals to be had. Some, even, are crossing off their gift lists early.

Trish Altergott, of Green Bay, plans to skip Black Friday this year, as she usually does. The ritual, she found, cuts into family time during Thanksgiving. Plus, she's not usually in the market for TVs and other electronics that typically prod people out the door.

Tara Neil, of Oshkosh, shopped the Outlet Shoppes at Oshkosh on Tuesday afternoon with a bundle of shopping bags in tow. She's close to knocking off her holiday shopping for the year, she said, and doesn't plan on braving Black Friday crowds, either.

She'll pick up much of her list online and at stores ahead of Thanksgiving, she said. The less-harried experience is worth sacrificing a few bucks.

"I don't know if it pays to go out on Black Friday if I can do my shopping at home in my pajamas," she said.

Reach Nate Beck at 920-858-9657 or; on Twitter: @NateBeck9


Forest Mall — 6 a.m.

Outlet Shoppes at Oshkosh — 6 p.m.

Best Buy — 5 p.m.

Dunham's Sports — 6 p.m.

Kohl's — 6 p.m.

Shopko — 4 p.m.

Target — 6 p.m.

Wal-Mart — 6 p.m.

Dick's Sporting Goods — 6 p.m.

Younkers — 5 p.m.

Ulta Beauty — 6 p.m.


Gamestop — 5 a.m.

Hobby Lobby — 8 a.m.

Jo-Ann Fabric — 6 a.m.

Lowe's — 6 a.m.

Menards — 6 a.m.

Mill's Fleet Farm — 6 a.m.

OfficeMax — 6 a.m.

T.J. Maxx — 7 a.m.