Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY


November 26, 2011

Shoppers seek bargains for Black Friday

GLASGOW — While many Americans slept off the exertion of eating several pounds of turkey, determined shoppers bundled up, grabbed a cup of coffee and headed to the stores Thursday night and early Friday morning. They had one thing on their mind: a good bargain.

For some, a good bargain was worth cutting into their Thanksgiving holiday. Shoppers Candice Cantrell and Bradley Sharp arrived at the doors to K-mart at about 9 p.m. Thursday, even though the store didn’t open until 5 a.m. It was a simple matter of wanting to buy items they would normally want, at a much lower price than they would normally find, according to Cantrell. She had her eye on a Nintendo 3DS and she was determined to get the edge on anyone else looking for the game console.

“We’ve been here since 9 o’clock and we’ve been the only ones until 3:30 or 4,” Cantrell said.

By 4:30 a.m., other shoppers had formed a line well into the K-mart parking lot, and dozens more were waiting in the warmth of their cars. Cantrell and Sharp had arrived fully bundled up, Cantrell said, with blankets, chairs and coffee, and they had even ordered a pizza. As the clock ticked closer to opening time, Cantrell and Sharp had shed their bundles and removed the chairs so they were prepared to get into the store as quickly as possible.

“We have a game plan,” Cantrell said, outlining their plan to split up and run to the electronics, to provide a better chance of one of them getting the Nintendo and other products they wanted.

While Cantrell and Sharp were laid-back in their determination, not everyone was.

“Some people’s been kind of aggressive, but for the most part it’s been alright,” Sharp said.

The Glasgow Police Department were called to the scene around 4:30 a.m., when a yelling match over cutting in line looked like it would develop into a fist fight, according to Captain Charlie Lowery. Lowery was one of two officers who responded to the call, and remained at the store until after it opened.

“We’re going to stick around til the doors open...make sure everyone gets in peaceful,” Lowery said at about 4:45 a.m. No further incident occurred.

Walmart had no incidents, co-manager Jeremy Wilson said, although they always have police on site to monitor the crowd. This year was the biggest Black Friday turnout the Glasgow Wal-Mart has had in years, according to staff. Walmart was selling 13 trailers full of items for its Black Friday sales, which started at 10 p.m., 12 a.m. and 8 a.m., and by the end of the midnight sale the store was already down to about three trailers worth of items. The products were lined up in all of the store’s main aisles, so they were clearly displayed and easily accessed, although bigger items such as TVs were held in the back. It was a successful year, Wilson said, and the company felt that having the Thursday night sale, especially at the Glasgow store, helped the day’s success.

“What we bank on here is they hit us early, then go on (to bigger cities like Bowling Green), then on the way home they hit us again,” Wilson said.

While the more intense shoppers head to Bowling Green, those who simply want a few interesting things at good prices don’t feel the need to go to that effort. Glasgow shopper Freda Smith hit K-Mart, Goody’s and Staples Friday morning, but was not one of those lined up outside before the doors opened. This year was unusual because Smith usually finishes her Christmas shopping by Thanksgiving, she said. She only occasionally shops on Black Friday.

“I just come out if I have to, or if I’m in the mood to,” Smith said.

Jimmy Cochran was a Black Friday shopper 15 years ago, and swore he’d never do it again after waiting in line for a tennis bracelet only to have the first person in line buy all of them. Then two years ago, he ventured out and was pleased with the deals he found, so he managed to drag himself out again this year.

“It ain’t a tradition, I just lost my mind,” Cochran said as he waited in line early Friday morning.

Although he was out again on the shopping holiday, Cochran said he already knew what he was getting, and then he was getting out.

“We done scoped out what we wanted,” Cochran said.

Others were in a rush to get in early and get out fast, but for Smith, an early line in order to get out of the store quickly could never be worth cutting into Thanksgiving, especially for the employees required to work the sales.

“I like Black Friday, but I don’t think the stores should open before 4 a.m.,” Smith said. “The employees should have the chance to enjoy their Thanksgiving.”

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