Though sisters Mitzi Martinez-Pena and Tanya Pena were having fun shopping on Black Friday, the day didn’t start on a cheery note at 4 a.m.
“She was excited. … I was kind of mad,” said Pena, 17, said. “I’m not a morning person.”
“She was mad for, like, a whole hour,” said Martinez-Pena, 21.
Still, there was no question they were going.
“Cause it’s a tradition,” Martinez-Pena said.
Tradition, bonding and good deals lured people to Black Friday shopping, but not in the droves the day after Thanksgiving used to attract.
“I think a lot of customers took advantage of yesterday,” said Rosemary Binford, a Von Maur sales associate.
Von Maur wasn’t open on Thanksgiving, but lots of other stores were.
The Target near Maple and Ridge opened at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving to big crowds, but by Black Friday, they were gone.
“It was super super slow,” said Consuelo Webber, a Target executive team leader, who arrived to work at 2 a.m.
By later in the morning, the amount of shoppers in the store seemed like a typical Christmas season shopping day.
“Usually (when) we come in, even our parking lot is full,” Binford said of arriving at Von Maur at 8:30 a.m. before the store opens at 9 a.m.
This Friday, the Von Maur parking lot had more empty spaces than full ones, though, it picked up fairly quickly as the morning went on.
“I think everybody’s ready to shop,” Binford said. “It’s good, but it’s like it’s different.”
Leon Jackson’s work schedule permitted him to experience his first Black Friday shopping, though it actually started on Thanksgiving.
“We have been out since yesterday at 7:30,” said his wife, Townette Jackson.
That’s 7:30 p.m. Thursday. The Jacksons were recharging with some Chinese food in the food court at Towne East Square a little after 9 a.m.
Among other things, the two bought Leon Jackson a new wedding ring, a snowblower, a wrench set, a drill and a hot dog grill. Townette Jackson bought two Michael Khors bags – including a $300 for $150 –and a wallet.
Townette Jackson scouted stores on Wednesday “just to see what the price of things was.” For instance, she found a $49 slow cooker at Sears that day, and when she returned on Friday she bought it for $19.
“It’s worth it,” she said of the shopping marathon.
Still, Jackson said she probably won’t come out for next Black Friday.
“Yes, she will,” her husband quickly corrected.
Kelly Blackburn also shopped on Thursday and Friday. She stood in line for four hours at Walmart for a Nabi tablet on Thanksgiving, but she says didn’t encoutner similar crowds on Friday at Towne East.
“It’s pretty clam in here today,” she said. “I thought it’d be busier than it is.”
A number of shoppers ventured out for their first holiday shopping on Friday, refusing to get started on Thanksgiving.
“You’re not supposed to shop on Thanksgiving,” said Melody Arnold. “You stay with the family. … They’ve ruined it by opening the stores up on Thanksgiving.”
Todd Murdock doesn’t shop on Thanksgiving for a couple of reasons.
“I feel sorry for people who have to work all night on Thanksgiving day,” he said.
That, and there’s football.
He got up at 4:30 a.m. on Friday, though.
“Well, because it makes my wife and kids happy finding bargains.”
Sisters Abby Spunangle and Annie Siebert ventured out in the early morning hours Friday, but Spunangle said there was no way they could have gone on Thanksgiving.
“Ah, turkey coma,” she said.
Siebert said they go shopping on Black Friday each year “mainly just for the experience of it.”
“It’s just really fun bonding time.”
Not everyone was shopping for the holidays.
Linda Parsons merely had a return to make.
“I thought a little bit about it,” she said of contemplating the crowds first. “It’s not as bad as I thought it would be.”
Her friend Mariann Banks came along just to “see what’s going on in the world.”
Retha Barrientos, who is in Wichita visiting family, didn’t have any shopping to do but went to Towne East so her sister-in-law could shop.
“Why stay home with my brother?”