Black Friday pet peeves

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It's become as traditional as a Thanksgiving turkey or a Christmas tree: Black Friday -- the kick-off to the holiday retail season. But with millions of shoppers out bargain hunting, things can get a little, well, annoying.

“We wanted to find out what is it about the shopping experience that turns off folks,” explained Consumer Reports Senior Editor Tod Marks.

A Consumer Reports survey says it's not just crowds and traffic jams that irritate holiday shoppers. Some retail practices do, too -- like coupons that exclude too many items, and salespeople pushing extra warranties and store credit cards.

But the number one annoyance?

“Those long checkout lines," Marks said. "The fact that you have 25 different cashiers open, or 25 different cash register sites there, but only maybe 3 or 4 are open.”

It's Black Friday pitfalls like those that retailers aim to avoid.

“The conversations start early, they happen often," said Joe LaRocca of the National Retail Federation. "Retailers prepare by making sure the store is staffed properly, the signage is right, the items are in place.”

Like at Best Buy stores, where rehearsals prep employees for Friday's crowds.

“Just getting them prepared for that expected day, and to get through the rest of the holiday season,” said Best Buy's Amy Adoniz.

Any retailer's holiday wish? Shoppers leaving merry and brighter -- and their wallets, a little lighter.

“No matter how bad the economy is, even though people tell us they're going to be cutting back, they're still going to be spending,” Marks said.

And if you don't have the patience to join the Black Friday crowds, wait until Monday. That's “Cyber Monday" in the industry -- one of the biggest online shopping days of the year.