Department stores aren’t the only ones attracting early-bird shoppers.
Customers looking for a caffeine buzz immediately formed a line at the Starbucks in Penn Square Mall at 6 a.m.
–SARA GANUS, Business Writer
I’ve never not shopped on the day after Thanksgiving.Retailers call it “Black Friday” but I call it nirvana.Sales sales everywhere!For a dedicated shopper, Black Friday is like the Superbowl, minus the cheerleaders, but keeping the occasional tackling maneuver.
So it is with great dismay that I vowed NOT to shop today. I’m done with my holiday gifts because we paired back our list this year. We’ve got no room for more holiday decorations. I have no relatives in town to entertain at the local mall.
And I almost made it.
I’d like to say my car suddenly came alive and forced me into the Macy’s parking lot that just happens to be on my way to work. But it wasn’t the car — it was the $10 off coupon burning a hole in my pocket.
So yes, Santa, I was naughty. But there’s a certain little girl who’s going to get a Hanna Montana T-shirt to wear to the concert next month. As thrilling to her, as the coupon was to me.
Susan Simpson, Staff Writer
Some customers at Best Buy, 5801 N May Ave., complained about the lack of security before doors opened today at 5 a.m.
Those who arrived Thursday afternoon or early Friday said people were cutting to the front of the line to try to snag the store’s doorbuster vouchers.
“A bunch of kids came, and they just kept piling in,” said Leif Fisher, 57, from California, who had been in line since 6 p.m. Thursday.
John Butler, 27, from Little Axe, said he eventually called police.
“It just wasn’t right,” he said. “They roll in an hour or two before and want to get all the stuff that everybody else has been waiting 14 hours for.”
Butler and Fisher said Best Buy’s security showed up around 3 a.m. this morning.
–SARA GANUS, Business Writer 10:24 a.m.
I was a first-time early bird this morning, braving the cold weather only for my two teens whose paternal grandparents had gifted them with substantial pre-Christmas cash.
Of course my daughter was up by 3:30 a.m. , wanting to head out to the stores at that hour. Her brother and I snoozed some more and we finally made it out of the house by 5:30 a.m. We thought we’d go and try to snag one of the 500 goodie bags that Quail Springs Mall was giving away to the first customers.
Here’s the thing: When we got there about 5:55, the line to get a goodie back snaked along the mall. We figured a lot of the people got into the mall through the stores that had the early-early sales — 4 a.m. — like JC Penney.
We didn’t want to lose any shopping time standing in the long line so we just headed to the stores. It was amazing to see all those people — bright-eyed and ready to shop — at the time I’m usually still trying to rub the sleep out of my eyes.
Hey, the kids loved it though. They think we should make this a tradition.
I don’t know about that, but at least I can say I made the early-bird shopping rounds at least once.
My hat goes off to all the “oldtimers” who’ve made this a habit for years.
Usually I’m about four-deep when I go to buy my breakfast at the rural conveinence store I stop by each morning in Logan County. Today at 7 a.m., I was the line. So I figure the majority of people were either hunting bargains, hunting deer or sleeping. Now, I have to admit, I thought about it last night. I thought about getting up and taking my daughter to a 4 a.m. sale and then coming in to work. And I have hit those early sales before. But not today. Maybe next year. But today, I was just happy being the one-person line.
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.
Microsoft’s Zune sold out in minutes after Toys “R” Us employees opened the doors at 5 a.m. this morning.
Frenzied shoppers, raced through a maze of aisles to the electronics department where only the first 10 claimed the prized MP3 player. It was priced at a rock bottom $80.
There were no casulties–just sleepy, dissapointed shoppers who will go have to look elsewhere for the MP3 player.
However, I didn’t see anyone leave the toy store empty handed.
Trisha Evans, Business Writer
My alarm clock went off an hour ago, but not until about 15 minutes ago could I drag myself out of my warm, cozy bed.
I swear I pushed snooze only two, maybe three times, but somehow it’s already 3:20 a.m.
It’s the day after Thanksgiving—a day I usually spend indoors finding creative ways to reheat and reuse yesterday’s leftovers.
But not this year.
This year, I will be heading out the door in a mere five minutes to brave the cold and even worse: the dreaded Black Friday shoppers—largely considered the most dedicated, serious, sometimes violent, shoppers who will stop at nothing to get anything and everything for their loved ones on one of the biggest shopping days of the year.
I truly can’t tell you how much I love my job today.
So check back throughout the day to hear from me and other reporters who will be scouring the malls, shopping centers and big-box retailers. (Honestly, I hope I see at least one Mom tackle a fellow shopper for her kid’s wish list. If I do, you’ll be the first to know.)
My first stop? JC Penneys. Doors open at 4 a.m.
–SARA GANUS, Business Writer
Black Friday sales begin at midnight at some stores. Oklahoman reporters will be blogging from various stores and malls throughout the day. Check back for more updates!
GUTHRIE – Although Bob Blackburn was born Sept. 10, 1951, it seemed as though today, Oklahoma’s 100th birthday, is his birthday.Oklahoma history has been Blackburn’s life for almost 35 years and today the executive director of the Oklahoma Historical Society served as narrator of the Statehood Day Inauguration Ceremony at the Carnegie Library here.
Oklahoma history has been his focus during thousands of speeches, 18 books and many television appearances including several on The History Channel.
“That’s when I started dedicating everything to Oklahoma history. my professional life, my reading at home, my books, my weekends, they have all been about Oklahoma history,” he said of that time period of about 35 years. “And so I’ve been putting together the little bits and pieces. It’s like doing a painting. You’re doing all these little brush strokes around the canvas and all of a sudden it starts making sense.
“This situation almost accentuates that understanding. This is kind of like the capstone on my personal career, all my books, working on the History Center, all the thousands of speeches I’ve done it’s all coming together here in this event.”
About 10 a.m. today he took his place, microphone in hand, on the steps of the Carnegie Library.
After a welcome and introductions he stepped into his responsibility as a narrator.
“Now I invite you to travel back in time, 100 years, to Nov. 16, 1907. The day had dawned bright and sunny,” he told the crowd today.
In Oklahoma where weather isn’t predictable from hour to hour, the day again dawned bright and sunny as the focus turned to the steps of the library.
It almost seemed that those steps were a bridge between 1907 and 2007.
To Blackburn’s back was the entrance to the Carnegie Library. In front of him amid the enthusiastic crowd were television cameras, sound systems, digital cameras and cell phones and above a helicopter dotted the blue sky.
“When I give a speech, I’m the center of attention,” he said, “but today I felt like more of an observer, more like I was watching history. It was like I was at a distance, watching this on stage.”
And one thing he noticed was the participation not only of the re-enactors but of those in the crowd.
“The audience was very responsive today,” he said. “I did not have to cue them or lead the applause.
“They understood what we were trying to do with this.”
Blackburn said that Statehood Day in 1907 not only marked change, but began change.
“They celebrated 100 years ago today,” he said. “But they were celebrating the beginning of something; today I think we’re celebrating the fulfillment of that promise.”
- Bryan Painter, Columnist