Black Friday madness

Some shoppers got in line Thursday morning
Nov. 23, 2012 @ 04:31 PM

Derek Barts resisted the lure of Black Friday for as long as he could, but the chance to take advantage of deep discount sales finally drew him out on the day after Thanksgiving.
Barts, a landlord from High Point, was shopping at the city’s Target in the morning, the first time he’s taken part in the retail and cultural phenomenon that has become Black Friday.
“It’s getting a deal,” Barts said as he prepared to push the plastic, bright red Target shopping cart around the store.
Barts said the promotional offers from a flurry of retailers that he received leading up to Black Friday finally convinced him to give the day after Thanksgiving shopping rush a try.
The High Point man had a lot of company, not only in the city but across the nation.
Many retailers moved up their opening for Black Friday to midnight or even Thursday evening, and the response shows that shoppers still would arrive hours early for a chance at discounted merchandise.
At Belk, about 1,000 shoppers were lined up at the Oak Hollow Mall store as the doors opened at midnight. The crowd wrapped around the building to the entrance of another mall anchor location, Dillard’s.
Some Belk shoppers were in line as early as 6 p.m., said store Manager Jason Scott, who like many local Belk employees was pulling a 15-hour shift over Thursday and Friday.  
Even with the growing popularity of online shopping, Scott said Black Friday continues to draw stronger crowds.
“People like the energy, the thrill of getting that price,” he said.
The Black Friday turnout was as robust at nearby Target, where 1,500 customers were wrapped around the building into the parking lot as the store opened at 9 p.m. Thursday. Some of the first people in line arrived as early as 9 a.m. Thursday.
Shoppers who were out Friday morning said their main reason for getting up early during a holiday relates to the name of a popular movie from 10 years ago – it’s all about the Benjamins.
“It’s the best sale day,” said retired furniture industry worker Doris Lightfoot of High Point, who was shopping at Belk.
College student Kim Clark, another Belk shopper, got up at 5 a.m. Friday to check prices and browse stores seeking ideas for holiday gifts.
April Everhart, an artist from Lexington, started shopping at 6:15 a.m. Friday, seeking the best sales.
“It’s worth it to get the deals you won’t see the rest of the year,” said Everhart, who was at the High Point Target.
pjohnson@hpe.com | 888-3528