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Black Friday | People come out in droves to stores across East Tennessee

Black Friday turnout is expected to top the charts. The National Retail Federation expects more than 166 million shoppers this holiday season.

SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. — The National Retail Federation is expecting a major turnout for Black Friday this year. They expect 166.3 million shoppers this holiday season in the United States. This is 8 million more predicted than last year. The NRF is optimistic about a big turnout due to COVID-19 restrictions being lifted, almost everywhere. 

Research also suggests inflation is not slowing shoppers down. According to the NRF, they expect 69% of holiday shoppers plan to shop during Black Friday. 

In the Sevierville-based Tanger Outlet Mall, shopping was the source of traffic. Cars lined up down the street all day to find parking spots in the outlet mall. People walked everywhere in droves.

"We opened at 6 am with several of our retailers opening at 4:45 this morning. People were lined up, they were ready to go," said Allie French with Tanger Outlet's marketing team.

The biggest draw to Black Friday shopping this year is the deals. It's no secret inflation has affected pricing this year.

"We always know people want the best deals and the best prices, especially with things kind of increase in price over the last couple of years," French said.

Eve and Ashley Feltman, a mother-daughter duo, came out to Tanger Outlets to shop those deals.

"We love Black Friday," Eve said. "We are glad that COVID has kind of gotten to where we feel a little more comfortable being together with family and not having to worry about getting each other sick."

Ashley agreed. They were able to secure some good prices for presents for family members (and get a little something for themselves, too). 

"There are some good prices today. This is great. It's a lot of fun here and everybody's friendly," Ashley said.

Another mother-and-daughter duo, Belinda and Macee Tinker, are local to Sevier County. However, they couldn't turn down a chance to shop for such great deals.

"Typically we wouldn't get out here in this traffic since we're local but definitely this year we're looking for some good deals," Macee said.

"It's a great place to be a great place to shop. We love it," Belinda said.

Tanger Outlets was happy to host them.

"We have happy shoppers, happy retailers. Everybody is so excited to be here," Allie said.

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