“Black Monday” Shoppers

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Ellery Fry

Shoppers gathered as early as Monday to line up for Best Buy’s sales

With big anticipation for Friday’s crowds, a line formed early outside of Best Buy.  Thomas Gross of Mackinaw accompanied with Nicole Wright and NCHS freshman, Hunter Wright, of Normal set up their camp at 2 pm Monday afternoon.  The group had high hopes for the limited quantity 50-inch flat screen t.v.

The flat screen was on sale for $399. A television of that size typically retails anywhere from $600 to $1000. The group also desired the $189 laptop and possibly the $178 40-inch television.

Gross purchased an eight-person tent to accommodate the three over the course of a week.  The three are no rookies to the black Friday chaos. Keeping their tradition of six or seven years, they have realized that it pays off to be first in line.

Although being first in line is a lot easier said than done, the group has a set up to survive the 4-day wait. To keep warm, they have placed a space heater inside their tent and have a car parked in the parking lot full of supplies. Luckily, the forecast allowed for less harsh temperatures than in previous years.

The three, along with many other hopeful consumers, spent their Thanksgiving meal in the Best Buy parking lot. For Thomas, Nicole, and Hunter, family supplied a Thanksgiving feast for them. In previous years, their families have provided a feast for many others waiting in line.

Nicole anticipated all day shopping after they are done at Best Buy, while Hunter and Thomas would conclude their shopping after one store. Not only Best Buy encountered large crowds. Stores such as Target, Wal-Mart, and the Eastland Mall were swarmed with customers scavenging for door busters and discounts. The nature of “Black Friday” has undergone a great deal of change throughout recent years. Stores that opened in the early morning hours have begun to start their sales thanksgiving evening.

The changes made little effect to Thomas Gross, Nicole Wright, and Hunter Wright.  As an experienced Black Friday shopper, Gross advises anyone camping out to “maintain their cool.” Any conflict between parties camping out that causes police to come results in everyone being dispersed from the scene.  He manages to keep his temper low “even if the neighbors are snoring.”

Nicole admitted there is a true benefit of being first in line. Being in front ensured the group a first hand shot at Best Buy’s ticketing process. At Best Buy no store maps are handed out to consumers or other types of shopping aids. The store has a ticket process that works to the benefit of people in the front of the line.

Many people participate in Black Friday shopping. While Thomas, Nicole, and Hunter may demonstrate the extremes of black Friday shopping, Thomas revealed that camping out is “fun” and “creates good memories.”