Retail employees brace themselves for 3-day shopping frenzy

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Retailers are expecting 2011 holiday sales to top $466 billion, according to the National Retail Federation.

On Black Friday when customers search for the best bargains, employees work extra hours to boost sales.

JC Penney store manager Sandra Sneed said employees prepare for long hours on their feet during the busiest shopping day of the year. "We're allowed to wear jeans, casual dress, comfortable shoes," she said. "We have our Christmas shirts on, our reindeer ears on, we have lunch for the associates and scheduled breaks so they don't get tired."

With an estimated 150 million U.S. consumers planning to shop this weekend, the cash registers in JC Penney have two people manning the stations.

Customers we talked said they are thankful they don't have to work on the busiest shopping day of the year. "If I had their job, I would dread Black Friday, but they've just been super good," said Connie Pillow.

Many employees will replenish items, clean the store and start tomorrow with sales that last past Black Friday. "We have a Saturday ad called Black Saturday and we have doorbusters that morning as well."

A recent survey by the National Retail Federation revealed 14 million more consumers than last year planned to shop on Black Friday.

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