Shoppers hit malls at midnight, continue Black Friday shop-a-thon

11/23/2012 9:12 AM

11/23/2012 9:12 AM

Towne East and Towne West followed the national retail trend this year, opening at midnight, four hours earlier than in 2011.

At Towne West, the crowds were heaviest from midnight to 3 a.m., and then picked back up at 6 a.m., said Jodi Karlin, director of marketing for Towne West.

Ginger Knudsen and her daughter Katie, both from Wichita, started their shopping at Walmart at 8 p.m. Thursday, then headed to Target and then to Towne West.

At 6:30 a.m., they said they were planning to hit Gordman’s and Kohl’s before heading home.

“We do it every year, Ginger Knudsen said. “Our strategy is someone grabs the item, someone else stands in line and we usually have a driver that drops us off at the door.”

The Knudsens estimated they saved between $400 and $500 by shopping on Black Friday.

Across the country, shoppers lined up for Black Friday sales and deals that started on Thursday.

The National Retail Federation predicts sales will increase about 4 percent this holiday season.

Retail stores, operating in an increasingly competitive environment that now includes online, have been extending sales and trying new events to draw shoppers.

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