'Pretty crazy,’ but shoppers get head start on Black Friday

Nov. 28, 2013 @ 10:13 PM

Growing up, Riza Redd would get up in the early hours of Black Friday to go shopping with her mom for deals.

This year, when their afternoon holiday meal was done on Thanksgiving Day, she was in line with her husband outside Best Buy at New Hope Commons by about 3:30 p.m. to try to get a deal on an iPad or smart TV when the store opened at 6 p.m.

“It’s interesting to see how it’s different,” Redd said of the shopping trends. She said she saw some stores starting to offer some deals even prior to Thanksgiving, and she expected to see similar offers online. She said she thought it gave more people the opportunity to take advantage of the sales.

Some Durham shoppers were enthusiastic while others weren’t as happy about waiting in line on Thanksgiving Day. There were lines at the Best Buy on Durham-Chapel Hill Boulevard hours before it opened, and a line of about 40 people outside of the Toys “R” Us on Westgate Drive about an hour before it opened at 5 p.m.

Before the SuperTarget on Durham-Chapel Hill Boulevard opened at 8 p.m., the line started at the front of the store, wrapped around the front of the building, the side and to the back.

Ding Huang, a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who’s originally from mainland China, got his first Black Friday experience on Thanksgiving Day.

 “I wanted to feel the culture of it,” he said, as he waited in hopes of getting a deal on an iPad Air. The line was bigger than he expected. “So far, I’m cold and I’m bored,” he said.

Dana Sineath of Timberlake was first in a line of about 40 people in front of Best Buy about 3:30 p.m.

She and her brother started the line at 10 a.m., and passed the time listening to music and making trips to the nearby Wal-Mart, which was open during the day. It was worth it to her to wait so she could get a good deal on an iPad.

She added that she didn’t mind that the store opened on Thanksgiving Day because she works in retail. If the store didn’t open on the holiday, she said she wouldn’t be able to take advantage of the deals.

She also said the retailer staggered its deals, offering some when they opened their doors at 6 a.m., and offering others Friday and online.

“I think it’s pretty crazy,” said Tanya Pullar, who was in line with her daughter on Thanksgiving Day at the Toys “R” Us. She said she’d prefer to do her shopping on Friday, rather than on the holiday.

“I think people should be home with their families,” she said.

Leaving their dishes in the sink and their children in the care of their husbands or other family members, Durham resident Laura Hennessee, her sister Mary Flores and her sister-in-law DeAnn Morrison set off Thursday afternoon to start shopping after their holiday meal.

They were waiting in line at Toys “R”Us before it opened, and also planned to go to Target, Macy’s, J.C.Penney and other stores. Morrison was in town visiting from Maryland, and Flores was visiting from Andrews Air Force Base. Her husband is deployed, so she said her brother and brother-in-law were watching her child so she could go shopping.

“We’re really just here because it’s crazy and fun,” Morrison said. “We have good husbands”

Durham resident Jason Suarez was waiting in line outside of the SuperTarget on Durham-Chapel Hill Boulevard with his sister, Jessica Suarez. The store had good deals, they said, but they made sure they had dinner with their family before they came.

“Because we feel that’s more important than standing here,” he said.

Mebane resident Brad Burnette started waiting outside of the Best Buy at New Hope Commons at 11 a.m. so he could get TVs on sale that his mother wanted.

Wrapped in a blanket, Burnette said he didn’t mind waiting outside in the cold because knew he would still eat well when he got home.

“I’ll be fine – as long as she gets the TV, I’ll be good,” he said.