Students prepare for Black Friday shopping frenzyBy Elizabeth Manning | 11/21/2011 11:05pm
The coming Thanksgiving break also brings another holiday – one for shoppers. Stores in Tuscaloosa, as well as stores across the United States, will open their doors at a new time this year in honor of Black Friday.
Most businesses participating in the sales will open to crowds at midnight.
Customers will swarm major chains in throngs, trying to catch electronics for a few hundred dollars off and find kitchen appliances for low prices.
Old Navy will decrease prices on jeans and graphic T-shirts, said manager and pricing specialist Lindsey Johnson.
“Every year I’ve been here, the check-out line has snaked all the way through the store,” Johnson said.
Johnson said she has never seen a fight, and that customers are usually eager to get in and get out with their purchases.
Savannah Waller, a sales associate at Best Buy, agreed that the lines are probably the craziest aspect.
“Last year, the line to enter the store stretched all the way around the corner of the block, and it was raining outside,” Waller said.
Superstores are the place to find excitement, said Teairh Blackmon, a sales associate at Target who worked her first night at the store on Black Friday.
“Customers would steal products from others’ carts,” Blackmon said. “One lady turned around to get a toy and another customer stole the television out of her cart.”
Blackmon said Target will employ all of its security guards for the night and will only let in a certain amount of customers at one time. The store hopes to alleviate some of the frenzied fighting through these measures.
Students at the University have mixed feelings about Black Friday shopping.
Freshman Christian Grant is not yet sure whether he will venture out in the early hours of the morning.
“I only go if I am looking for something in particular,” Grant said. “Too many people go just because stores advertise some great deals, not because they actually need anything.”
Jordan Bannister, a junior majoring in journalism and anthropology, said she is definitely not shopping Black Friday.
“Why waste time and gas money?” Bannister said. “Besides, I would rather stay at home and watch the madness happen on television.”
She said it’s important to understand that due to inflation, the deals customers are getting on some items are not really great deals at all.
Bannister’s friend Marcie Walker, a senior majoring in civil engineering, will be witnessing the holiday madness first hand this year. Walker works at Gamestop, a video game store. She said the store has not announced a major sale scheduled for the day but knows she will be busy.
“I usually only go if my friends want to go,” Walker said. “I know my sister got around $250 off a television at Best Buy one year.”