Holiday shopping set to top $730 billion

DENVER — Holiday shopping is once again poised to set a record this year. The National Retail Federation expects sales to reach nearly $730 billion.

This year, many stores started their sales early in November, both online and in-store.

On Thanksgiving, many big box brick-and-mortar stores in the Denver area opened their doors in the afternoon and used in-store only deals to lure customers.

The Best Buy on Colorado Boulevard near I-25 was one of them.

“We got here about 4:30 the line was kind of halfway wrapped around the building,” said Jonathon Walker, who was buying a big-screen television.

That store, along with the Target and others nearby were busy, but not as packed as they were years ago when people camped out for deals and occasionally fought for them.

One reason could be holiday spending is becoming more spread out and shopping online is increasing.

The NRF expects 165 million Americans to shop during the five-day holiday weekend. Black Friday is projected to be the busiest day, followed by Cyber Monday and Small Business Saturday.

Meanwhile, there’s also a push for people to take a break from all the shopping.

Colorado Parks & Wildlife is offering free admission to all 41 state parks for Fresh Air Friday, while REI is closed Thursday and Friday and hoping people take time to get outside and help the environment.

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