As many people were still enjoying turkey with all the trimmings shoppers began lining up at stores in Farmington like JCPenney and Walmart to take advantage of “Black Friday” sales.

The aisles were filled with stacks of merchandise surrounded by customers waiting for the workers to open the packages. As the time grew closer people began to hover over the products they wanted and it was a frenzied grab for what was left.

Popular items this year included the Google Home Mini, giant stuffed bears or unicorns, Baby Alive doll, Xbox One S, an assortment of movies, games and several deals on TVs. 

According to Walmart Department Manager Mark Jackson, the last few years have begun to die off with online shopping becoming more popular.

"It does still get pretty crazy though,” Jackson said. “Hopefully it won’t be as bad as the past.”

Shoppers each had their reasons for being there whether it was to get the deal or to be a part of something.

Courtney Carr of Farmington said she come for some groceries and to get a Google Home Mini.

“It’s always kind of fun,” Carr said. “This is my second time coming to Black Friday. I just came to get a couple of things and maybe some groceries.”

After seeing the crowds and frenzied lines Carr decided she should probably forgo the groceries. 

Lea Ann James of Farmington made the event a family affair. After Thanksgiving dinner the whole family came over to join in and find some deals.

James said she arrived more than an hour early to get a good parking spot and her family went to JCPenney first.

While the crowds seemed to be calm throughout the frenzy a large police presence could be seen throughout the stores. Officers were placed every few aisles and were ready to deescalate any situation.

One officer said that it was calmer than previous years, adding that theft does occur among the chaos but they are more concerned about the safety of shoppers. 

JCPenney’s sales began at 2 p.m., four hours before Walmart, with the first 1,600 receiving mystery coupons worth $500, $100 or $10.

Manager Brittany Carr said the coupons were gone within an hour and a half. They had two lines out the door that ran past Glik’s in one direction and around the building on the other.

“This took months of preparation,” Carr said. “We continued to stay busy.”

Many stores which chose to remain closed Thanksgiving Day will be offering Black Friday sales today and continue throughout the weekend.

Victoria Kemper is a reporter for the Daily Journal. She can be reached at 573-783-3366 or at vkemper@democratnewsonline.com

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