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story.lead_photo.caption Mother and daughter shoppers Joan, left, and Perrin Pierson compare computers at Best Buy on Friday to find the one that best suits their needs. The duo were among the dozens of shoppers by late morning looking for a bargain at the electronics store. The store opened Thanksgiving night. Both Perrins live in large cities out of state but were visiting family in town for the holiday and said the shopping atmosphere here is more relaxed and enjoyable. Photo by Julie Smith / News Tribune.

Despite the prevalence of online shopping, both big and small retail stores in Jefferson City were prepared to deal with large crowds during Black Friday shopping events.

Black Friday is expected to remain the busiest shopping day of the year, as retailers predict holiday sales will grow between 3.8-4.2 percent, according to the National Retail Federation. The NRF reported holiday season sales climbed 2.1 percent last year.

Large chain stores in Jefferson City such as Best Buy, Target and Kohl's opened their doors late Thanksgiving Day.

Best Buy spokesman Matthew Smith said some of the hottest products this year are smart TVs, laptops, headphones, smart home devices and connected fitness equipment.

"Black Friday remains one of the biggest shopping weekends of the year for us," Smith said. "Historically, the fourth quarter has accounted for about one-third of our annual revenue."

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At Best Buy on Missouri Boulevard, barricades were set up for early shoppers to form a line.

Some shoppers locally were not from Central Missouri. Joan Pierson, from Chicago, and Perrin Pierson, from New York City, decided to see what deals they could find while visiting family in Jefferson City.

"I think a key to get through Black Friday is don't go early," Perrin said. "There's still plenty of bargains to be had even after the stores open."

"This type of a crowd is probably the size of a normal day crowd in Chicago," Joan said.

Levi Williams and his wife, Burke, are expecting the birth of a baby girl next week. He was at Best Buy on Friday looking to purchase a front door security system for the new home the couple purchased — 103 Jackson St., known as the Standish House.

"I usually come out on Black Friday to see what they have in the bargain bins for DVDs," Williams said. "When you can buy them for $5-$7 instead of $14, you can't beat it."

Smaller shops also were offering large deals on Black Friday.

At what could be considered Jefferson City's "re-sale corner" at the intersection of Jefferson and West Ashley streets, there was a brisk flow of shoppers going in and out of Calvary's Gift, K's Consignment Shop and Butterfly Treasure Hospice Resale Shop.

Nahiemah Greenland, store manager at Butterfly Treasure, said they were expecting a better turnout this year due to their new location. The shop previously was located on Southwest Boulevard.

"We do have newer and designer items to offer," Greenland said. "Bigger stores do have more of what people are looking for, but many of our shoppers aren't interested in spending their time going through a bigger store. We have older shoppers just looking for things from the past that we have and the bigger stores don't. We also see younger shoppers who can't afford items at retail prices. You could say we fill a void."

Sales at Butterfly Treasure help local hospice programs, and that's important to Melanie Kiral, who has shopped at both Butterfly locations.

"Sometimes smaller is better," Kiral said at the shop Friday. "My daughter's a hospice nurse, so I try to help as much as possible, and I also want to support local businesses."

"This is the first time I've shopped here, and I'm finding some great deals," Bobbi Jo Wilkinson said Friday at Butterfly Treasure. "A friend told me about it, and I said, 'I had to get there.'"

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