Sadly, I missed my first opportunity to witness any pushing or shoving through the department store’s doors.
I went inside, and the crowd was surprisingly sparse. Maybe this Black Friday thing isn’t that crazy after all—I actually got a great parking spot, and everybody seemed happy to be there.
The greeter handed shoppers a free Mickey Mouse snow globe with a $10 off “bonus savings coupon” on any single store purchase of $50 or more Saturday–clearly a way to lure shoppers back another day.
Looking back, I guess that was the calm before the storm.
Within 15 minutes, my claustrophobia was setting in as it got harder to maneuver around the friends, families and wife-with-reluctant-husband duos going after their wish lists with newspaper ads in hand.
At Best Buy, it was five times worse.
Determined to see an authentic Black Friday store opening, I left Penney’s at 4:15 a.m. for the Best Buy on May Avenue.
What I saw there was both shocking and admittedly humorous.
At the front of the line that weaved to the other side of the strip mall was a group of twenty-somethings who had camped out in a tent since 11 a.m. Thanksgiving Day. With cots, laptops and a propane heater, the group clearly was stopping at nothing—for the second consecutive year—to get their LCD televisions, MP3 players and digital cameras.
They weren’t shopping for their families; they were shopping for themselves.
Now I know these insane shoppers really do exist!
I guess it was worth it to them, though, when Best Buy’s doors opened at 5 a.m. They entered the store flailing their arms and yelling, leading a pack of at least a couple hundred other eager customers.
Before I left, I saw one of the guys from the tent leave with a cart-full of everything he had wanted, and I was happy for him.
–SARA GANUS, Business Writer 7:55 a.m.