Brookings Black Friday: Crowds hit box stores Friday
Watch your toes.
That's what Hana Dykes learned on her first Black Friday experience while shopping at Fred Meyer early Friday morning. Dykes had traveled from Crescent City for the deals and waited with two friends in line with a shopping cart full of gifts.
"We waited for an hour outside the store," said Maxwell Aguilar, a friend of Dykes. "We're here for the great deals. Look at the two 32-inch TVs!"
Large crowds stood outside Bi-Mart and Fred Meyer waiting for their 5 a.m. openings and special Black Friday deals. Shoppers entered the businesses in an orderly, yet hurried manner.
By a few minutes after 5 a.m., Mimi Vest already had a few items in her cart and was about to move on to the toy section.
"I usually get up around 5 a.m. for my job anyway as a caregiver, so getting up this early to get some good deals isn't a big deal," Vest said.
Watching the waves of shoppers rushing up the stairs to the second floor apparel section, Khirston Rice, an employee at Fred Meyer, said she had been the store since 4 a.m. preparing for shoppers. She said Black Friday was one of the busiest days of the year.
"Electronics is definitely the busiest section," Rice said. "They have extra help down there."
Electronics, especially televisions, digital cameras and video games, appeared to be among the most popular items at Fred Meyer and Bi-Mart, with socks, kitchen appliances, toys and boots also proving to be popular. Fred Meyer's parking lot was full soon after 5 a.m.
Barron's Home Furnishings in Harbor opened at 6 a.m. and had a few people through the door right at opening according owner Terry Adams.
"We've done a decent amount of business since we opened," Adams said around 9 a.m. on Friday. "We've been promoting a three day sale instead of just door buster deals, so we expect it to continue throughout the weekend."
Black Friday, the shopping frenzy the day after Thanksgiving, lured an estimated 89 million Americans to stores last year according to a study conducted by the National Retail Federation. About 59 percent of all adults shopped at least one day over the weekend in 2012 and shoppers spent an average of $423 per person. The day kicks off the holiday shopping season, which helps move many retailers' ledgers from the red in to the black for the first time during the year.
Even though she had to be careful of her feet being stepped on, Dykes said she was happy for the chance to shop on Black Friday since she usually had to work that day in the past. While she was a little afraid because of stories of people being trampled at stores on Black Friday, Dyke had come prepared.
"You should fortify yourself with comfortable shoes and warm pants," Dykes said. "And we're getting coffee after this."