Black Friday shoppers hunt deals at Aiken stores

November 24, 2018

Trampolines, tree stands, slow cookers, bicycles and more were carried out of some of Aiken’s stores Friday morning as shoppers braved the chilly air and took advantage of Black Friday deals.

One pair of shoppers at Target, walked to their car with a big box. When asked if the store was busy, they said they hadn’t even made it past the online pickup counter yet, and headed back in.

At Target, another shopped Carol Hayes said the crowds she had seen were mild and that the wait at stores wasn’t very long.

“The cold air and everything makes it feel so much like Christmas. I’d rather be shopping now than when it’s 90 degrees,” Hayes said.

Hayes was shopping mostly for her grandchildren, she said. “Although man I saw some stuff I would have just liked to burn up for myself,” she added.

After getting deals at Belk and Target, Hayes said her next stop was home.

At Academy Sports and Outdoors, shoppers carried out clothes, guns, skateboards, child-sized ATVs and other outdoors necessities. Academy’s manager said they opened at 5 a.m. with a line of around 100 people. They were to close Friday at 11 p.m.

Dashada Roundtree was a shopper at Academy, buying one of her 4-year-old son’s Christmas gifts, a utility terrain vehicle.

Roundtree said she usually does her Christmas sale shopping online, but saw the UTV was at Academy, so decided to join the throng of shoppers there to pick it up in person.

Although sales were brisk in Aiken, across the country, thousands of shoppers flocked to stores on Thanksgiving or woke up before dawn the next day to take part in this most famous ritual of American consumerism.

Shoppers spent their holiday lined up outside the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, by 4 p.m. Thursday, and the crowd had swelled to 3,000 people by the time doors opened at 5 a.m. Friday morning. In Ohio, a group of women was so determined, they booked a hotel room Thursday night to be closer to the stores. In New York City, one woman went straight from a dance club to a department store in the middle of the night.

Many shoppers said Black Friday is as much about the spectacle as it is about doorbuster deals.

Kati Anderson said she stopped at Cumberland Mall in Atlanta Friday morning for discounted clothes as well as “the people watching.” Her friend, Katie Nasworthy, said she went to the mall instead of shopping online because she likes to see the Christmas decorations.

“It doesn’t really feel like Christmas until now,” said Kim Bryant, shopping in suburban Denver with her daughter and her daughter’s friend, who had lined up at 5:40 a.m., then sprinted inside when the doors opened at 6 a.m.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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