Despite late start, bargain-hunters score
Published 9:15 pm Friday, November 29, 2013
Early birds still leave some worms for later risers, Black Friday shoppers around Suffolk in the late morning and early afternoon discovered.
“We knew the crowds were going to better later in the morning,” Charles Owens, 47, said outside Dick’s Sporting Goods at Harbour View East shopping center.
He explained the decision to start with sons Adam, 10, and Phillipp, 16, at 11 a.m., and not — like many others — while still dark outside: “We thought we’d get a thinner crowd and some of the hold-over bargains.”
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Owens said the strategy worked. They were a lot less frazzled than they could have been, and still managed to get some great deals on Christmas items.
The sleep-in-then-shop strategy also worked out for Patrick McMillian, who came out of Dick’s with a Summit climbing tree stand for $190, discounted from $250.
“We’ve got to go to some other stores yet,” the 21-year-old said, adding the expedition had so far been successful. “I got what I came for. I did get the last one, though.”
An hour or so before noon, the parking lot at the Main Street Walmart was frenetic with folks wheeling heaped carts back to cars.
Gregory Britt, 47, and Allan McMillan, 51, squeezed items into the trunk of their Buick, finding gaps between earlier purchases including a pressure washer and toolbox complete with tools.
After driving up from Fayetteville, N.C., as part of an annual tradition, the family had first hit Belk at 7 a.m., landing at Walmart across the road before journeying on to Chesapeake Square.
Inside the store, Jasmine Champ, with a party of six buying toys, cosmetics, televisions, clothes and DVDs, said they were up at 5 a.m. and hit their first store two hours later.
“We usually start Thanksgiving Day,” the 16-year-old said. “I feel like we missed out on some deals” by not doing so this year.
Shena Johnson, 28, was marking off purchases on a list after starting at 10 a.m. She said she didn’t consider coming earlier, and lamented that she couldn’t locate many items advertised online.
After loading her cart with toys after also arriving at Walmart at 10 a.m., 23-year-old Laquita Brown conceded, “I come for the sales, so I guess I’m here for Black Friday. I just don’t like the crowds a lot.”
But not everyone was out hunting down heavy discounts. Pam Carr, 54, said she was simply shopping for craft supplies.
“I used to do this (Black Friday) years ago,” she said. “I’m not here for Black Friday, I’m here for hot glue and glue sticks. I don’t have the patience for this anymore.”
The day, of course, was all about acquiring consumer goods on the cheap, but not so for Cynthia Clanton, a bell-ringer for the Salvation Army outside Main Street Walmart.
Folks had been generous with their loose change, she said.
“It’s good,” Clanton added. “Everybody’s happy and says good morning and happy holidays.”
“Keep ringing that bell,” one woman told Clanton as she walked past into the store.
Brown dropped some change into the woman’s bucket before pushing her cart across the lot to her car.