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FIRST COME, FIRST ....



Published: Fri, November 25, 2011 @ 12:01 a.m.

photo

Phoebe Gordon, 24, of Columbus searches for winter clothes at Old Navy in The Shops at Boardman Park. Old Navy was open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, then reopened at midnight.

By Ashley Luthern

aluthern@vindy.com

BOARDMAN

By the time Vindicator readers see this story, Marcee Richardson will have snagged a hot Black Friday deal at Best Buy.

Richardson, of New Castle, Pa., was first in line at the electronics retailer and ready when the doors opened at 12 a.m. this morning — with her eye on a 42” Sanyo LCD 1080p HDTV

for $199.

“I’m looking for the TVs, a Blu-ray player, the deal on laptops and digital cameras,” she said, estimating she would spend about $700 there.

With retailers facing the fourth holiday shopping season in a national recession, Best Buy was one of many stores that opted to open at midnight instead of the traditional 4 a.m. to 6 a.m. range.

That meant Richardson celebrated Thanksgiving a day earlier and arrived at the store 6 p.m. Wednesday — 12 hours earlier than she did in 2010, when The Vindicator first met her in line.

She said she and her seven family members, including cousin Nicole Nixon, were more prepared this year.

“We have a tent, heaters, chairs, lights, food, drinks, chargers, a laptop,” she said.

If the other couple hundred of people in line weren’t as prepared, Mandy Comstock, 23, of Boardman, and volunteers for the Best Buy Relay For Life team were selling concessions.

“We figured it would be a good fundraiser,” said Comstock, who was offering hot dogs, coffee and candy.

On the other side of The Shops at Boardman Park, Sarah Crabtree, 20, of Salem and Ashley Jastreb, 21, of Salem were tucked under blankets, Sudoku puzzles in hand, and had secured their first place in line at Old Navy.

“We’re looking for the jeans and sweaters,” Jastreb said. Both pieces of clothing were offered for prices as low as $15.

First-time Black Friday shoppers, Crabtree said she called ahead and was told to arrive about 8 p.m. Thursday.

“I wanted the camera, too,” she said, referring to the Kodak Easyshare Sport waterproof camera Old Navy was giving out to midnight shoppers.

The pair decided to hold their ground after contemplating going inside to scope out merchandise, as Old Navy was one of the few stores open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thanksgiving Day.

“We had a lot of customers who were excited we were open,” said Johnna Shrum, a service-in-training store manager.

Shrum said there was a short afternoon lull Thursday — “probably people were eating Thanksgiving dinner” — but that store traffic was steady.

Paula Ringos Drapcho, who is originally from Struthers, did shop at Old Navy Thanksgiving evening.

“We were looking for bargains,” she said.

“And walking off the turkey,” added her sister, Cindy Ringos, of Saline, Mich.

The two were there with their sister, Patti Ringos, of Toledo, and other family members. The crew left Old Navy about 7 p.m. clutching bags filled with scarves and fleece clothing.

“I do feel bad for the workers,” Drapcho said.

But she recalled when she was growing up, Hills department store was always open on Thanksgiving, so it wasn’t unprecedented.

Drapcho said she and her sisters, who have shopped on Black Friday together for more than 20 years, will return to the stores about 8 a.m. today.

“It’s just tradition,” she said.


Comments

1ItAintEasy(15 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

Only morons waste their lives waiting all night for Black Friday deals. Wait till 2 weeks before XMAS and you will see deals that will make Blk Friday a joke. I know, I work for a major electronics retailer!

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2palefoot(35 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

I actually found some better bargains in the two weeks before Thanksgiving than I saw advertised for today. People are crazy, but as long as they are having fun and stores are making money, the tradition will continue.

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3philobeto(85 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

Retailers have stolen the meaning of Christmas. I do not need anything that badly to have to put up with the fanatic shoppers. I will stay far away for retail this weekend.

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4VINDYAK(1799 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

"They sold their soul to the Company store..."

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5Iwannamove(61 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

You won't see me out there that is plain silly to miss Thanksgiving or have it a day before just to wait all night in the cold to possibly get 10 items that a store has for that price.

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6AnotherAverageCitizen(1174 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

Too bad these retailers dn't care about Thanksgiving, only MONEY.

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7whitesabbath(738 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

Better yet,

Wait until after christmas, then buy.

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8southsidedave(4780 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

@ whitesabbath -

Better yet, wait until February when there is a foot of snow and no customers in the stores!

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9lovedrama(138 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

seriously-whatever happened to family anf the meanig of thanksgiving and the holidays? shame on these money grabbing whores disguised as businesses! and while I'm at it....the police confiscate the occupy protesters tents in downtown, where NOBODY is affected, but let these people camp out all night while the stores force their employees to work a national holiday for the same measly pay they make a regular day. Boycott these idiots!

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