Like whipped cream goes with pumpkin pie, Black Friday shopping has become a staple of Americana culture with Thanksgiving. Early morning shoppers were out in full force well before first light to take advantage of doorbuster bargains at various retailers.
In some cases, shoppers began their Black Friday adventure as soon as they put the leftovers up after Thanksgiving dinner. Heather Terry of Ste. Genevieve arrived at Farmington Wal-Mart Supercenter at 8:30 p.m. Thursday to stand in line for a $198 laptop computer. She decided Thursday morning when she saw Wal-Mart’s ad that she was going to stand in line 8.5 hours for the computer. Wal-Mart started selling it’s doorbuster Black Friday items at 5 a.m.
“It’s been a fun experience,” she said. “I’ve never done anything like this before. I just came for the laptop and a couple of other good deals.”
Terry wasn’t alone in line for the laptop computer very long. Joshua Litton of Potosi arrived at the Farmington Wal-Mart at about 9:45 p.m. on Thursday.
“I thought I would have a better chance getting one here than at the Potosi Wal-Mart,” he said. “I’ve got family at the Potosi Wal-Mart and they said I wouldn’t have been able to get one there because they didn’t have as many of them. As soon as I saw Wal-Mart’s ad and saw this deal, I decided to come.”
Litton said he doesn’t participate in Black Friday shopping every year. He said he only does it when he sees a deal he can’t pass up.
Mark Westbrooks, the manager of the Farmington Wal-Mart Supercenter, said there were 240 pallets of Black Friday items in the store.
Months of planning went into Black Friday.
“I guess we started planning for this in August,” he said. “We had every overnight person and every shift manager here by 2:30 a.m. It’s our goal to make the shopping experience as safe and as organized as possible.”
Westbrooks has been with Wal-Mart for 26 years. He said Black Friday continues to grow each year.
“When I first started we didn’t have this,” he said. “It was busy, but nothing like this.”
Terry Boyer of Doe Run arrived at Wal-Mart at 3:30 a.m. She had hopes of getting a laptop computer, but was told that the retailer was already sold out based on the number of people standing in line. Boyer said she was going to settle on a digital picture frame.
Christina Russell of Farmington said she participates in Black Friday shopping each year, even though she said it’s crazy. Russell said Wal-Mart did a good job of making the bigger ticket items like TVs and computers more organized this year.
“I always start at Wal-Mart and shop for my kids,” she said. “I am here for the deals on pajamas and Nintendo Wii games. After I leave here I am heading up to South County to keep shopping.”
Sears in Farmington opened it’s doors at 4 a.m. Store owner Tom Lorenz said people started lining up at 10 p.m. Thursday to take advantage of a Black Friday sale on a washer and dryer set.
“We had a front load washer and dryer set for $579 that was a hot item this year,” he said. “We had a really good crowd this morning. Everyone was very polite and were in a good mood. We also sold a lot of tools and drills.”
Lorenz estimated that about 75-100 people lined up at Sears prior to the doors opening at 4 a.m.
Chris Cline is a reporter for the Daily Journal. Contact him at 573-431-2010, ext. 114 or at email@example.com.