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Black Friday brings out early shoppers
Earlier beginning throws some off pace
A sense of calm enveloped Target at a quarter to nine as customers perused movies, toys and electronics. There were no lines to wait in to get into the store and no crowds to contend with.
In the toy department, Porterville resident Rachel Medrano, who is a 10-year Black Friday shopping veteran, was finishing up her shopping as she looked for whatever deals were left.
“This is the best year I’ve had. The prices were decent. I’m not tired,” said Medrano, who added that she had shopped at Walmart earlier for items such as TV’s and a laptop. At that particular store her experience this year was a little different.
“This year was the best year they had. Walmart controlled people and the payment was smooth. The electronics was crowded,” she said. She also patronized the dollar store.
In Target’s electronic’s section was Luis Nunez and his cousin Santiago Nunez. Santiago had bought an IPAD. Both are from Porterville.
“I like Target better, there wasn’t a big ole line. Walmart didn’t have anything that I wanted,” said Santiago.
Luis came for two things.
“Games and movies. That’s all I really buy. I don’t get a lot of stuff,” he said.
Lisa Cargill, Target executive team leader of guest experience and soft lines, was thrilled with the day’s operations.
“It’s going really well. We got a lot of guest feedback saying things were really easy to locate and the lines moved really quickly,” said Cargill, who added that planning factored into the smoothness of the day.
Over at Marshall’s, the crowds were even thinner.
Near the front, Elisa Ortega and her family from Tucson, Ariz. were looking at games.
“I started at Walmart at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and was able to walk in the store. I left at 10 and there was a big line outside of the store,” said Ortega who added that most of the popular items at the store were TV’s, video games and the XBOX bundle which was priced at $149. Her advice to future shoppers is pertinent.
“You have to go early or you won’t get what you want and you have to put up with people. People are rude and people complain,” she said. Ortega said that she shops for the deals.
One shopper was not happy with the deals.
“It’s different this year. They call it Black Friday but all the deals were yesterday,” said Marie Bales of Porterville.
“This year is the worst Black Friday at all the stores. On everything I’m looking at it’s everyday sales. We went through everything and there was nothing that was a wow,” stated Bales. In years past she could find some great savings. For example, she explained that two years ago some merchandise was ether $2 or $1. She recommends bringing Black Friday back to Black Friday.
“Take it to Friday and have sales like they used to,” said Bales.
Shopper Wes Floyd and daughter Shayla were out looking at different items.
“We only went to Target this year. They way they did it was weird, it was opened up a day early,” said Floyd ,who explained that he went shopping with his daughter for a certain item.
“We knew we wouldn’t get it if we didn’t,” stated Floyd.
At Sears, owner Luz Hughes was happy.
“I have never seen that many people in the store as last night. I was really happy to see that,” who added that the store was open from 8 p.m. to midnight. One of the items that sold quickly was the Kenmore washer and dryer set that sold for $799.98. Other items that were popular included Craftsman tools and electronics.
Downtown, Carrie Brinkley, owner of the Special Occasions and Gifts, reported a very busy morning.
“We were swamped and had a fantastic turnout,” said Brinkley. She said they had customer from Bakersfield. The store sells all kinds of gifts including jewelry, candles and fashion items like purses.