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Black Friday shoppers out in droves

For almost all of Thanksgiving Day, Jordan Cooper stood outsideTarget waiting in line to buy one of the store’s doorbuster saletelevisions. But the 46-inch Westinghouse LCD television – on sale for $298 -that he loaded into his cart was not for him. It is a surprise giftto his parents who are out of town for the holiday. “They helped me through college so I figured this was some wayto pay them back,” Cooper said. He pulled up to Target around 10 a.m. on Thursday and claimedthe third spot in line, securing his television purchase. Therecent college graduate, now a nurse at Rapid City RegionalHospital, planned to head over to his parent’s house after payingfor his Black Friday deal, clean their home and set up thetelevision. “It’s well worth the wait,” Cooper said. Although waiting for doors to open was still a big part of thisyear’s Black Friday experience, Rapid City shoppers were able toget inside a number of stores earlier than last year. The throngsof shoppers seemed pleased with or at least did not mind theincreased number of stores choosing the midnight hours for openingtimes or even Thursday. The Thanksgiving Day 9 p.m. opening at Toys R Us meant CoraWolken of Garrison, N.D., and her Black Friday shopping group -family and friends – could visit more stores. The group hoped topick up bargains at Kohl’s, Sam’s Club and PetSmart throughout thenight ending with Scheels’ 6 a.m. doorbusters and breakfast atPerkins Family Restaurant. For a brief period, Wolken and her boyfriend, Chad Davies ofMinot, N.D., brought up the rear of the Toys R Us line that snakedbehind Hobby Lobby as the first 50 customers were let inside. TheNorth Dakota group was out shopping for the experience. “If you go with the flow, it will be easier,” Davies said. John Mitchell of Rapid City would disagree with the group’sphilosophy on Black Friday shopping. Mitchell’s family uses adivide-and-conquer strategy to take advantage of as a many deals atas many stores as possible. Mitchell is always the member of thefamily standing in line for the big-ticket item. For the secondconsecutive year, Mitchell claimed the first-in-line position atTarget. He showed up at 8 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day with plans totake home the 46-inch Westinghouse LCD television. Despite themultitude of televisions on sale across the city, Mitchell selectedthe Target line believing the bargain was a better deal than therest. Although Mitchell was also after a television last year, thisyear proved an easier Black Friday wait with warmer temperatures, aticket guaranteeing him the television and an earlier opening. “The midnight opening is a lot better,” said Mitchell, beforethe doors opened. “It gives you a chance to go other places.” By the time the doors opened at Target, the line to get insidehad passed Scheels in Rushmore Crossing. In less than 30 minutes,Mitchell and his sister had two televisions and a toy in their cartand were heading out the door. Travis Shinabarger of Rapid City also wanted to take home atelevision on Black Friday, which is why he showed up at Best Buyat 10 p.m. on Wednesday, more than 24 hours before the storeopened. He claimed the first spot in line and secured a ticket forthe 42-inch Sharp LCD television on sale for about $200. “I’ve been wanting one for awhile, but couldn’t really affordit, and I saw that they had this thing on sale for 200 bucks andthat’s a steal, so I wanted it, and I got here first,” Shinabargersaid. Contact Holly Meyer at 394-8421 .

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