Black Friday was ….well… Thanksgiving Thursday as many stores opened their doors for the holiday shop-a-ganza anywhere between 3 and 9 p.m.
I went out to Best Buy and Wal Mart at 10:30 p.m. expecting to find the fabled Black Friday frenzy. Instead, I found what looked to be a pretty typical Saturday or Sunday’s parking lot and customer traffic.
The craziness, I was told, happened earlier in the day.
There were about half a dozen customers, bundled in coats and hoodies, waiting in line outside Best Buy for “Midnight Door Crashers.” The first couple at the head of the line, Ryan and Terrissa Chavers, had already been in the store shopping. They found out that if they went out, and came back in at midnight, they’d get a deal on a flat screen TV.
They didn’t mind the wait. So, what’s the deal, I asked them.
“An LG32 flat screen TV,” said Ryan.”
“Eighty dollars cheaper,” said Lisa. “I think an hour waiting in line is worth $80”
Meanwhile, a few others wandered to the back of the line. One confused woman wondered aloud why the store was open.
Local entrepreneur, Chris Shaw, was annoyed at the way Best Buy was handling the sale.
He found out about 10:00 p.m., by checking the store website on his phone while he was shopping in the store, that the Xbox One would be available, but only at midnight.
XBox Ones are hard to come by he said, and are going for double their price on E-Bay.
Reluctantly, Shaw got in the midnight door-busters line, but said as a regular online shopper, this may be his last purchase from Best Buy.
“You know people will do this once in a while…but…this is stupid,” Shaw said. “The fact that they would be that (insensitive) to have people sit out in the cold and wait when their store is warm and right there….it’s just stupid. It’s insane.”
Across the parking lot at Wal-Mart, Tamer and Lisa Christo were walking out with their young son, Alexander. Rolling a shopping cart stacked with six HP computers, Tamer Christo was delighted he’d saved more than $600 on office necessities for his tax preparation service. But his wife was less enthusiastic.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea for stores to open at this hour, not at all,” Lisa Tamer said. “It’s taking people away from their families when they should be sitting home.”