Before the sun had risen and probably before the turkey dinner had time to settle, throngs of Black Friday shoppers braved the cold and lined up outside Target at three in the morning.
The RDR estimates there were at least 300 shoppers in the parking lot and the lines reached all the way back to Main Street. With sale prices in their eyes, and visions of bargains dancing in their heads like Christmas sugarplums, they waited an hour for the store to open its doors at 4 a.m., before wiping out the shelves. The Westinghouse 40-inch flatscreen TV sold out in the first hour, then the XBox Connect, according to Target employees.
â€œPeople were just running towards here,â€ James Portio, 23, who works at Target, said. “Itâ€™s kind of fun just to see what everybody likes to get.â€
Portio noted that Target had practically every employee on staff working so they could open more lines of cashiers, have more salespeople on the floor and extra help in the back rooms. He also said the only moment of pandemonium during the craziest shopping day of the year was when a shopper thought someone was stealing from her cart. To her embarrassment, it turned out to be a false alarm.
Other consumers werenâ€™t so crazed and went to stock up on Christmas stocking stuffers during normal business hours.
â€œI wasnâ€™t about to get up early,â€ Ken Yaw, who was shopping in Target around 9:30 a.m. with his wife and four kids, said. He still managed to snag a Wii Fit Bundle and gift cards for a sale price.
Shoppers also lined up for mom and pop stores on Main Street, not just corporate chains like Target and Walmart.
A line was forming outside Sheâ€™s So Unique boutique at the corner of Second and Main streets by 9 a.m. The accessory store had jewelry on sale for 20 percent off for two days only, plus a sale on boots.
â€œIt gets better every year,â€ Ruth Gonzales, coowner of the store, said, noting that last yearâ€™s Black Friday yielded top sales. â€œWeâ€™re expecting a great Black Friday.â€
Another local store, Hippie Chicks on the corner of Main and West Deming streets, lured in bargain hunters with an â€œAfter Turkey Day Saleâ€ and free door prizes. Employees handed out complimentary candles and offered select items on sale. They even supplied free cookies and beverages.
â€œWeâ€™ve been really busy,â€ Terry Lindberg, owner of the boutique, was happy to report. â€œLots of customers and purchases.â€