Black Friday early morning quiet but some on a mission for deals
Nov 23, 2012 (Star-News - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Armed with folding chairs, blankets, snacks, and most importantly, a game plan, sisters Britney Ross and Candace Small were ready for anything Black Friday could throw at them.
The two stood in line Friday morning at Sam's Club, waiting for their last big score of the day.
"I'm getting a HP Notebook," Small said. "It's the best deal in town for a laptop today."
"I'm going to get a Galaxy S III for 96 cents," Ross jumped in.
The two waited in line at Sam's Club for two hours, but it was far from their first stop. They began at 6 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, hitting Walmart, Kohl's, Best Buy and Independence Mall before arriving at their final destination.
"It's just fun," Small said. "It's the thrill of the hunt."
The sisters have been attacking Black Friday sales for the past four years, and they know what it takes to have a successful shopping day.
"We do recon for a week before. We research and compare prices, and we go to the stores to see how everything is laid out," Ross said.
"You have to plan ahead and know what you're getting," Small added. "If you walk around shopping too much, you wait in long lines, or you don't end up getting what you came for."
Update -- 6 a.m. at Mayfaire
Mayfaire Town Center was mostly quiet Friday morning, but the few Black Friday shoppers out and about were on a mission.
"We're here for the tote bags," said Tricia Fletcher, who was out shopping with her daughter Destany Orchard. "We love the bags they give out with little gifts and the totes are perfect for traveling."
Fletcher and Orchard arrived at Mayfaire at 3 a.m., hitting up Belk before waiting for Bath & Body Works to open.
The pair was squeezing in their shopping between their Thanksgiving dinner and Orchard's cheerleading competition Friday afternoon.
"We have to leave here by 6 a.m. so she can get one more hour of sleep before we have to leave town at 8:30 a.m.," Fletcher said. "She has to sleep some more or her coach will kill me."
Fletcher and Orchard weren't the only mother-daughter pair out hunting down early morning Black Friday deals.
Courtney Houston, 17, and her mother drove from Clinton, N.C. to shop at Independence Mall and Mayfaire.
"It was kind of a last minute thing. It was midnight, and we were like, everything will be so picked over if we go tomorrow, so we might as well go now," Houston said.
She said they found great store-wide deals at every place they tried. This is Houston's first Black Friday experience, but she hopes it won't be her last.
"I haven't slept in 23 hours, and I'm still excited," Houston said. "That's how great it's been."
HHGregg saw a line of more than 600 people Thanksgiving night waiting to snag some Black Friday steals and deals.
Store manager David Dixon said the number of customers was equivalent to the three normal business days.
"People were buying everything from tablets to 30-inch TVs to 60-inch TVs," he said.
The store opened at 10 p.m. Thursday and stayed open all night, but after the initial rush HHGregg saw a long lull in business.
"We think it will pick back up around 7 a.m. when more people wake up and more stores here are open," Dixon said.
4 a.m. at Walmart
Black Friday has left its mark on shopper Brandon Dimaarco.
"At Walmart this morning a guy scratched my neck trying to take a blu-ray stereo sound system from me. Then I saw people fighting over $2 towels," he said. "I'm too nice to get into all that. Mostly I'm just here for Christmas shopping."
Dimaarco started shopping early on Thanksgiving Day, arriving at Walmart for its opening. But shopping on the holiday doesn't bother Dimaarco and his family. His mother and brother have joined him on the big shopping trip for the past five years.
"We eat early and then head out. We're still together so it doesn't bother me," he said.
Other area families chose to employ a "divide and conquer" strategy with Black Friday shopping.
Charles Clark and his wife Wendy split up from their daughter and her family to purchase various items from different stores across town.
The Clarks waited at Walmart for hours to make sure they could purchase the bicycle their granddaughter wants for Christmas.
"We give gift cards to everyone because it's easier, so we thought we were done with all of this," Charles said. "But we did it for our children and now we're having to do it for our grandchildren."
Their strategy was successful, and they said they were able to buy everything for their family.
The couple then headed to Home Depot to purchase a Christmas tree and poinsettias for their home.
"We'll all meet back up and go out to eat breakfast after this," Charles said. "And then we'll go home and die."
___ (c)2012 the Star-News (Wilmington, N.C.) Visit the Star-News (Wilmington,
N.C.) at www.starnewsonline.com Distributed by MCT Information Services
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