BOZEMAN — Black Friday is a post-Thanksgiving tradition for many. Die hard shoppers wake up early to snag the best deals and doorbusters.
“The Christmas bell has rung, and people are now ready to buy,” said Don Baide, owner of the Gem Gallery in downtown Bozeman.
But with the rise of online shopping, is Black Friday still as big of a deal as it used to be?
“Shopping is totally different than it was. I’ve been doing this for over 40 years now” said Baide.
Online shopping and promotions like Cyber Monday may be taking in some shoppers looking to avoid the chaos of Black Friday, but shop owners like Baide say there are still plenty of people that prefer the experience of going to the store and making their purchase.
“They still want to feel it. They’re not that comfortable with buying a fine piece of jewelry over the internet without seeing it, trying it on, and knowing that they’re going to get some service behind it,” said Baide.
Big box stores in town like Target say online shopping has affected them during the Black Friday rush — but positively.
“Really heavy foot traffic is still coming through the stores, that is still the bulk of our business,” said Tim Olson, store director at Target in Bozeman. “We do have a lot of folks that are choosing to shop us at home on their own time, and then utilize our drive-up and order/pickup options and ship to their home.”
While local store owners and managers will all agree online shopping has certainly changed the way people shop in town, you just can’t get the Black Friday energy and excitement anywhere else.
“You feel it when you’re in the store today and we felt it every day this week leading up to Black Friday,” said Olson.
“Watching those carts fill up and just the excitement as they're selecting those items for for those loved ones.”