Online or in-line? Retailers try to lure holiday shoppers

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - As online shopping continues to explode, some retailers are trying new ways to draw customers back to brick-and-mortar stores. And in some cases, their strategies might be working.

At the Best Buy store off Harbison Boulevard Thursday, dozens of shoppers began lining up to take advantage of a hard-to-beat discount on a flat-screen TV.

The electronics chain was offering a Sharp 50-inch, 4K TV for $179 dollars, more than $300 dollars off list price.

A Best Buy ad promised at least 20 sets would be in stock at each store but also specified the sale price was only available for in-store purchases.

Among the first 20 customers waiting in line, DeAndre Smith of Columbia was convinced the deal was worth skipping part of his Thanksgiving routine.

"I know for sure if I stand in this line right here, I'm going to get my TV," Smith said.

Smith's companion, Patrick Kennerly, said he checked with his family to make sure it was OK with them before he staked out the store.

"I made sure it was cool first," he said. "I'm not a terrible person."

Retail analysts say the rapid growth of online sales has been a major factor in the decline of physical stores for many companies.

The research firm Adobe Analytics predicts online sales during the holidays will total more than $107 billion dollars this holiday season.

That figure is up nearly 14% from the same period last year.

J.C. Penney stores tried a different tactic, opening at 2:00 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, hours ahead of many competitors.

At the company's Columbiana Centre location, the parking lot around the store was mostly full Thursday afternoon.

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