Black Friday buying gets early start

Published 9:00 pm Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving dinner was cooked and eaten, the leftovers packed, and outside temperatures were dropping quickly – but Misty Moak’s Thanksgiving celebration was far from over.

     The Franklin County woman had joined a crowd of about 40 people waiting in front of Goody’s on Brookway Boulevard for the store’s 8 p.m. Thursday opening and the deals that would be unveiled then.

     Moak got in line at Goody’s about 7:15 p.m. A Black Friday veteran, she was prepared for the evening.

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     “It’s become a tradition with me and my mom and sister,” she said.

     Moak planned to pick up gifts for her family.

     “I’m interested in shoes, slippers and some earrings,” she said.

     Goody’s wasn’t the end of her Black Friday battle plan, though. Far from it.

     “After this we’re going to Jackson and we’ll make it home around 4 or 5 a.m.,” Moak said. “I look forward to doing this every year.”

     Others waiting in line at Goody’s looked around at the line they were in and thought the Black Friday crowds seemed strong this year.

     “It looks like there are a lot more people than last year,” said Jennifer Foster while waiting outside of Goody’s.

     Foster has been a Black Friday shopper for three years now. She didn’t know whether she’d be pulling an all-nighter or not.

     “How late I stay out depends on how many good deals I get,” she said.

     Foster said she looked through the sale ads after Thanksgiving lunch to scope out the best deals and form her plan of attack. She and her husband had deemed it best to split up.

     “My husband’s at Home Depot,” she said. “He’s looking for toolboxes.”

     While some planned to make a night of the shopping, others planned to only hunt for a few things and go home.

     One such shopper was Quin Tyler of Brookhaven.

     “I’m looking for clothes, shirts and pants,” he said. “Especially Levis.”

     Though some arrived nearly an hour before the store’s 8 p.m. opening, Tyler said he didn’t get in line at Goody’s until 7:45 p.m.

     Farther west on Brookway Boulevard, just before 8 p.m., a small crowd had formed outside of Rue 21.

     Alexis Hawthorne, 17, of Franklin County, said she was looking for bargains on boots and jewelry and called herself an experienced Black Friday shopper.

     “I’ve shopped for several years on Black Friday,” she said.”

     But, Hawthorne didn’t plan a long night out either.

     “I’ll probably not do anymore shopping beyond Rue 21,” she said.

     Several hours of shopping later, crowds were much thinner.

     About 5:30 a.m., Sid Sasser looked around at the isolated shoppers in his Sears store in Brookhaven.

     “We were real crowded at 4 (a.m.),” Sasser said, laughing.

     Tools and televisions seemed to be the big draw, Sasser said. He estimated the crowds weren’t much different from last year.

     Across town at the Fred’s dollar store on Brookway Boulevard, Kyla Nations pulled into the parking lot with a truck full of appliances.

     “This is the last stop,” she said.

     That last stop was the punctuation mark to a shopping spree that had begun the night before at Walmart.

     And as the sun peeked over the trees Friday morning, some people were just venturing out, including Maricina Bardwell.

     Pushing a nearly empty shopping buggy through Fred’s, she wasn’t looking for any dramatic bargains, only trying to pick up a small gift for a family member.

     The Black Friday mania isn’t for her.

     “I don’t do crazy all-night crowds,” Bardwell said.