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Thanksgiving dine-and-dash for deals

Published: Fri, November 23, 2012 @ 12:01 a.m.
  Black Friday Shoppers

A 15 year-old waited more than 2 days outside a Best Buy store to get a Black Friday Deal.

A 15 year-old waited more than 2 days outside a Best Buy store to get a Black Friday Deal.




Black Friday tipped off early this year, dispatching eager shoppers fresh from their Thanksgiving tables — or before they even sat down — to take a place in line as the holiday shopping season kicked into full gear.

Unlike years past, most of the area’s leading big-box stores elected to open between 8 p.m. and midnight Thursday, while a few opened earlier in the day, forcing Valley consumers to adjust their turkey day traditions in order to seize limited supplies and the banner deals that have come to signify the holiday.

Kaileigh Christy, 14, of East Liverpool was wasting no time, and said her holiday shopping would be done sometime by 8 a.m. today, as she stood in line at Kmart in Boardman.

With the help of her mother, Beth, and her older cousin, Allison Pallard, who described herself as the evening’s “shoperone,” Christy was able to develop what the three called their “war map,” which outlined all the area stores they would hit along Route 224 as they opened and sales hit their peak.

The group even had a contingency plan for shops in Beaver, Pa., where they were headed afterward.

“I don’t mess around,” Christy said with a smile. “I cut everything out that I want and all my holiday shopping will be done tonight.”

She estimated that she would spend $300 of her own money on everything from clothing and cooking supplies to electronics and toys for her family members.

Nearby at Target, a sense of camaraderie was building at the front of a line where nearly 60 people had queued up for the store’s opening at 9 p.m.

Allison and Olivia Schaeffer, both in their teens, made their way two hours from Wakeman — about 25 miles southeast of Sandusky, along with their friend Catherine Blackwood. The group lined up at Target about 1 p.m. with the hopes of scoring Cody Simpson Dolls and The Elf on the Shelf — an interactive imp who informs Santa who belongs where on his Naughty or Nice list.

No sooner had they secured the first spot in line when Angela Leek and Christine Kutz, from Salem and Lisbon, respectively, plopped down chairs beside them. The group met at Target last year.

“It’s no fun to shop online, and I can tell you these girls are shopping for themselves,” Leek said, laughing. “We love doing this and we’ll probably see them again next year.”

Allison chose Target because she couldn’t find an Elf on the Shelf anywhere else — to her it was a necessity.

Around 7:30 p.m at h.h. gregg the mood was no different. Sandy and James McCune of New Castle, Pa., had been posted by the doors since 11 a.m. for a 10 p.m. opening there.

“She had everything in the truck, and we decided to come here so we could be first in line,” James said as the couple sat with a pop-up table where they had eaten their Thanksgiving meal earlier in the day. “My son and daughter-in-law brought us dinner. We’re here for a flat screen and tablet I guess.”

This year, a battle of wits has ensued between black Friday veterans and the big-name retailers hoping to steer them away from online shopping and keep them in-store longer.

By blending Thanksgiving with Black Friday, some offered up periodic “doorbusters,” with outlets such as Walmart providing tempting deals at 8 p.m., 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. to keep consumers shopping.

Many also have rolled out advanced smartphone apps to help guide shoppers to deals and keep things more orderly, like in-store maps highlighting where sale items can be found. Others filled Twitter feeds with advice and information on navigating crowds and traffic jams.

James McConnon, an economist at the University of Maine who specializes in retail sales, says consumers have grown more savvy in finding the best ways to stretch their holiday dollars.

“The big-box stores have a pretty good idea of their target customers and how they react,” he said. “They want to get customers in their stores by pricing items at elastic and responsive rates.”

Retailers can afford to slash prices by as much as $100 on certain items, McConnon said, because the banner sales promote what he described as cross-shopping for nonsale items, which helps offset the price decline on others.

Lines Thursday night were averaging between 50 and 60 people at most stores, but they grew as the night wore on. At Toys “R” Us, hundreds of customers wrapped around the building for the store’s first Thanksgiving opening at 8 p.m.

Most of this year’s Thanksgiving shoppers seemed to have a better outlook on the overall economy, with many planning to finish all their holiday shopping in one night, and most expecting to shop early into the morning.

“Even if I wasn’t going to buy anything, I’d still come out for this — it’s too exciting to miss,” said Tara Patris of Austintown as she stood in line at Best Buy. “I guess it’s kind of ruining Thanksgiving now that the stores are opening earlier, but I still left my husband at his parents’ house. This is my favorite day of the year.”


1bmanresident(607 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

Boy, these people are just plain stupid. Nice to see all these folks pass up a family traditional holiday by spending it in the cold outside corporate chains. I can't get over the idiocy of it all.

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2IslandMike(764 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

At least the employees of these chains can give up family time to go in and suck up to the boss in hopes of keeping their job that pays such a great wage!

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3MLC75(661 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

Who cares,some of you like to complain about everything.If people want to go black friday shopping,how does this effect you.

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4peacelover(839 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

There are no Targets in NW Ohio?

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5redeye1(5657 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

What's. really scaryThese same people VOTED last month!

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6borylie(949 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

Island,How did these people working for these chains get into such dire straits,that they had to take these boss sucking,low wage jobs? Surely there qualified for much better paying jobs. Why do you think they work there?

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7redeye1(5657 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

Island Mike I give these people alot of credit working these jobs because at least they aren't sucking the Gov't dry being on welfare, like you. They are trying and not complaining about things like you. They have have my deepest respect, something you don't have you whinny B!%CH!!!!!!!!!.

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8IslandMike(764 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago


I don't know if they're qualified for other jobs, but they're qualified to organize a union.

I look for the unions to make a major move to add members during Obama's 2nd term!!

Only 59 shopping days until the 2nd Inauguration!!!

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9redeye1(5657 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

Island . I think more people have gotten wiser about unions. They are looking at what happened to Hostess. Those people were in an union , What did it do for them. Oh yeah, it cost them their jobs.. So don't hold your breath. I once belong to a union , to me unions only protect the laziest members keep their jobs. They hold good employees back.

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10borylie(949 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

Island, Unions at one time served a purpose. They are now like telephone booths. Besides, your response has nothing to do with the cheap shots you took in your first post.
If you don't know if their qualified for other employment,how can you sarcastically say that their making a great wage? They may have taken employment with a "chain store" because that's who would give them a chance.
If you gave a $12.00 a hour employee a 25% raise to $15.00 this could cause the store to be no longer competitive and could cause unemployment. And if the employee makes too much then they would start to have to pay fed. income taxes and wipe out their gains. And if the cable guy making $20.00 gets 25% more and the electrician making $30.00 gets 25% more then the chain store people are still at the bottom of the pay scale chain.
The unions can no longer force their will on people like they used to. Thug tactics are now widely recognized and businesses and employees can get along just fine without paying union dues and having the union as a business partner.

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11Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

I think the shoppers look like they are having fun .
But as I read some of the comments , you can sure tell those that must kiss their bosses ^ss to keep their job . So sad. that they do not have the guts to stand up for what is fair , and can only put down those that do . It must be sad to live under the yolk of somebody else

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12borylie(949 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

mrright, In total agreement with you. Get these young people off the streets and into the military. Instill work habits,discipline,goals and recognition. I'd even say to take somewhat questionable young people and give them the opportunity to turn themselves into a contributing citizen instead of a taker. Then pay them well. I'd rather pay them with oversight,than pay them with welfare to sit with idle time and contribute nothing to society. Drill sergeants should get a bonus.

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13IslandMike(764 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago


The Supreme Court has ruled that workers have a right to organize a union. What your opinion on the matter is, is just that. Whether or not the store goes out of business twenty years down the road is hypothetical. Many non-union businesses also go out of business. These people will earn a better living wage if they unionize. $12 an hour at 40 hrs per week is $24,960 annually before taxes, if you don't miss any time due to illness or bereavement. That leaves under $20,000 a year to live on. These people aren't TAKERS, they're workers trying to make a living wage. Can anyone tell me how a person is supposed to pay mortgage / rent, car payment, auto and homeowners insurance, utility bills, medical bills and pay for food and clothing for under $20k a year? EXPLAIN, PLEASE!!

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14borylie(949 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

Island,I'd like to EXPLAIN PLEASE,but I'm afraid you just wouldn't understand. But briefly again I'll try. Unless you want a communist country where everybody makes the same wage,drives same type of car,same housing,minimal health care,etc.,then you must accept that in our country,a free capitalist society,we're going to have top earners all the way down to people who earn very little. There's safety nets for the needy,but for those that work you must reach certain levels to get to certain rewards. For example,a young student goes to school everyday,does the homework,graduates and goes to a higher learning or learns a trade. Chances are this person with a good attitude,work habits and wanting to succeed,will and probably earn good money someday. It's normally a process. On the other hand you have a student who misses school,doesn't do the homework,develops bad habits,makes the wrong decisions and now has to find any job willing to take such a person. If they find the employer willing to take that chance,it's now up to the person to take advantage,go to work everyday,go above and beyond what's expected and be in line for the promotion or go elsewhere with a good resume.
If everybody in the country graduated from Harvard,we'd still need ditch diggers and dish washers. The talented,ambitious and those motivated will rise to the top and the rest will find their spot in the earnings chain. Island,it's just the way it is,most of us don't want to be like everyone else. This is the union way,everybody makes the same amount regardless if your the best worker or the worst.

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15IslandMike(764 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago


YOU CAN'T ANSWER THE QUESTION, How is someone supposed to live off $12 an hour with no benefits?

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16borylie(949 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

Island, You give up cigarettes,tattoos and fancy data plans and you look for a better paying job. Told you that you wouldn't understand. I'm right again.

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