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Black Friday Frenzy: A Shopper’s Perspective

12/01/2009 09:17:00 AM

The morning after Thanksgiving my sister-in-law Mary Esquenazi-Wolf joined an estimated 175 million shoppers in that uniquely American ritual known as Black Friday.
As a regular Thanksgiving houseguest, Mary had heard my own Black Friday accounts each year over breakfast after I’d return from the field for TWICE. This year she decided to set out on her own, and she shared her experience of the early morning mayhem in and around the strip malls of Nassau County, Long Island. Here’s her account:
We were at Target at 4:30 a.m. There were about 350 people already on line. Everything was orderly, with lots of security and police.
They gave out maps to where the sale items were to be. Some of the locations were not correct. I think they wanted people spread out all over. The shopping carts were divvied up all over the store so you picked one up at different locations.
The 32-inch TVs were already spoken for, not that I wanted one. The other larger ones were plentiful. Most of the advertised sales seem to be in good supply. No computers, though.
Everyone was nice and courteous. The lines had only three to four people, just right.
Then on to OfficeMax. There was an online ad for an Acer notebook. Not so. My sister waited on that line. The store opened at 7 a.m. but there was nothing available that anyone wanted. The computer that was advertised was not a good one.
Then, on to Walmart. OH MY GOD!!! What a mess. There were many security guards and policemen there. I really don’t think that 12:00 a.m. sale thing did any good. People who came at midnight waited ’til 5:00 for the sales. They had a maze of fencing for you to go through.
I tried to go in about 6 a.m. or so. I saw the lines - 30 on a line, a mad house! I could not even breathe. There was no air. I realized that it was a fire hazard and turned around and walked out. That TV for $128 was probably gone, and there was nothing that I needed that badly.
On to the mall next. Really crowded. All the stores opened by 8 a.m. The funny thing was that all the food stands were opened and serving. Imagine Chinese food or bourbon chicken for breakfast.
Headed home and took a nap.
Wow, an exciting morning! Now I’ll have some more turkey.
Bye …
Mary

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