Shoppers wheel out big ticket items at this Best Buy Store in St. Louis on November 27, 2009. Big screen televisions were a popular item, followed by lap top computers and I-pods as buyers took advantage of the low prices on Black Friday. UPI/Bill Greenblatt | License Photo
WASHINGTON, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- U.S. consumers can expect crowds and cold, nasty weather for the Black Friday shopping event, a trade group and AccuWeather.com predicted.
The National Retail Federation said a survey conducted by BIGresearch indicated 138 million consumers planned to shop on the day after Thanksgiving, lured to the mall or downtown by discounts meant to kick off the holiday shopping countdown.
The survey found "approximately 60 million people say they will definitely hit the stores," on Black Friday, NRF said. In addition, 78 million "are waiting to see if the bargains are worth braving the cold and the crowds," NRF said in a release.
At the same time, AccuWeather.com said bundle up.
Those planning to camp near a store to grab deals early in the East and Northwest could run into discouraging weather, AccuWeather said.
The weather tracker said there was a potential storm system brewing in the Midwest that would move east during the week, although it was too early for a definitive Black Friday forecast.
The possibility of rain or snow "could make for a miserable night for Black Friday campers in the East," the Web site predicted.
A storm in the Northwest could pelt Seattle and Portland, Ore., on Black Friday, but the forecast is not set in stone.
"There is a chance this one may hold off until after Black Friday," Accuweather.com said.