Black Friday a family tradition for some shoppers in Florence
FLORENCE, S.C. – Black Friday shoppers began the holiday shopping season in the Magnolia Mall and other Florence stores, looking for the best deals and continuing long-held family traditions.
Cheryl and Michelle Legette
Cheryl Legette and her daughter Michelle Legette of Athens, Georgia, have gone Black Friday shopping every year for the past 10 years.
“It’s a tradition,” Cheryl said. “We always go.”
The Athens natives traveled to Marion to visit family for Thanksgiving and decided to look around Magnolia Mall. They said they just go shopping as a way to spend time together.
“I think it is usually crowded,” Cheryl said. “I can’t say I think there’s much variation in the sizes of the crowds. It’s about the same.”
The pair said they aren’t that serious about shopping, but they just enjoy being out together.
“We sort of just mill around and kind of see what catches our eye,” Cheryl said.
They said they like to look at the boot sale at Belk each year, and they look for costume jewelry. This year, the pair said they found a deal on costume jewerly for $4.99.
Fatima Elhuni of Florence spent Black Friday morning working at American Eagle in the Magnolia Mall and then decided to shop after getting off work.
Elhuni said she would not have gone Black Friday shopping if it weren’t for already working in the mall.
“I don’t really know what I expected,” Elhuni said. “I’ve never really worked retail during a Black Friday before. I was cashiering and stood in the same spot for four hours. There was a never-ending stream of people.”
Fatima visited a few stores and bought shirts for herself and one item for her brother.
“It’s really hectic,” Elhuni said. “I haven’t been at the mall during Black Friday in a few years. I’m only here because I had to be, and then the sales are the same as everything else. I spent money that I didn’t need to spend.”
Jeretta and Hope Kinney
Jeretta Kinney of Clio and her niece Hope Kinney went shopping around the mall for Jeretta’s grandchildren.
Jeretta said she enjoys being out in the crowd shopping on Black Friday.
“I stayed in Columbia for over 20-something years and had been out in the crowds on Black Friday,” Kinney said. “So when I moved back home, I still liked being out in the crowd.”
Jeretta said she went to J.C. Penney and found some good deals for her grandchildren’s presents.
“It’s not really about me today,” Jeretta said. “It’s about me shopping for my grands.”
Jeretta said she likes to get out of her house and spend time with her niece. After shopping, the two said they planned to eat lunch out in Florence.
Courtney Barker of Hartsville took her children Black Friday shopping to get ideas for Christmas gifts.
“We are just trying to get an idea of what they want and what’s out there,” Barker said. “Every Black Friday is something different. They’re never the same.”
Barker said it normally takes her a few weeks to Christmas shop.
Barker said she thinks there were less people out Black Friday shopping, and everything has been less congested. She said it might be due to more people purchasing items online rather than going to the store to shop.
“It’s been really calm for a Black Friday,” Barker said.
Barker and her family went to Walmart on Thursday night to take advantage of some of the sales, and there weren’t any lines to check out.
On Friday, Barker and her family went to Target and said they planned to visit a few other stores, such as Five Below.
Harold McElveen of Hartsville said he goes Black Friday shopping to be with his family and to watch the chaos around stores.
“I really enjoy it, because it’s family time and you can get some deals, but it’s watching the people mostly,” McElveen said.
McElveen and his family went to Walmart on Thursday night, and he said some of the people were ready to fight one another.
“I’ll be honest with you, there are some crazy people out here,” McElveen said.
Though sometimes people can be crazy, there are plenty of good deals that can help bigger families, McElveen said.
This year, McElveen said he noticed there were more security guards and security, which helps with the madness of Black Friday.
He said there wasn’t really anything he needed specifically, but he just enjoyed coming out to be with his grandchildren.