Black Friday shoppers seek deals late into night

Published: Updated:

FORT MYERS, Fla. – A surge of holiday shoppers hit Southwest Florida’s malls and shopping centers Thursday and Friday.

Black Friday deal seekers spent much of their day circling parking lots, looking for a spot to park in.

One Fort Myers man pitched his tent outside of the Best Buy store on Cleveland Avenue two weeks before Thanksgiving, hoping to be the first person inside the store when it opened for holiday shoppers on Thanksgiving Day.

“Get a job, we’ve heard everything,” Derek Dearmond said. “But the whole thing is, you guys need to get in line with us, because if you want to have a good time, this is where it is; it’s party central.”

Dearmond was able to snag a 50-inch Panasonic LED television that was offered for $199. It was originally listed for $799.

His extreme effort landed his story in the New York Times, though some people said they did not feel his prize was worth the work.

12 percent of shoppers who were surveyed admitted they were drunk when they walked into the stores on Thanksgiving Day, according to a survey performed by

The deal-hunting website Shop Advisor found that for 6,000 items that were on sale on Black Friday, the average discount was only 5 percent.

The National Retail Federation reported the average Black Friday shopper spent $407 last year. The amount is 4 percent less than the average amount spent by shoppers in 2012.

The shopping continues on Saturday, which is now called “Small-Business Saturday,” when mom-and-pop retails vie for consumers’ holiday money.

The work week begins with Cyber Monday when shoppers don’t have to leave their computer screens to catch the best deals from online retailers.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.