Black Friday kicks off holiday shopping season

Shoppers crowd the aisles near electronics at the Crockett Square Walmart in Morristown Thursday night.

Once the Thanksgiving turkey was finished, Lakeway Area residents hit the road looking for deals on holiday gifts.

Even though many customers interrupted Thanksgiving dinner to hit the stores early to do their Christmas shopping before Black Friday, thanks to online reservations on gifts for pickup on Thursday, people still had full buggies with gifts once the rush was over.

David Cook, assistant manager at Walmart at Crockett Trace in Morristown, said there was steady traffic with long lines coming in spurts for leftover items on electronic items such as computers, phones and video games – as well as homeware, bedding, toys, jewelry and other gift ideas. Even automotive items such as tires are on sale for Black Friday.

Cook expects more shoppers will arrive throughout the day into the evening.

“You can see people are still shopping for those items,” he said. “They’ll get some sleep – and hit it up again (today).”

Sleep was something Jennifer Brockwell of Morristown had no plans on doing. She normally lines up along with her friends, and other customers, throughout the night for the Black Friday deals, but work precluded her plans. However, she was still able to fill her shopping cart with toys, grills, clothing and cookware.

“We got off work late, so we’re checking the end of the sales,” Brockwell said. “We’re all-nighters, but we had to wait this time.

“We’re starting now – and we’ll go well into Saturday morning.”

The longest lines at Walmart on Friday were located in the electronics section. Vicki Harris of Morristown intentionally started her shopping after the initial rush, but was still pleased with what she did find to put under the Christmas tree.

“I’m not a 6 a.m. shopper, because I don’t want to fight the crowds,” she said. “Other places are not crowded, so it’s easier to take advantage of their deals as well.

“So far, I’ve been lucky.”

Harris also said Walmart’s online deals and pickup service have made Black Friday much easier to manage and shop than in past years.

“I think they’re doing better at stocking merchandise to prepare (for Black Friday) than they used to,” she said.

Roughly 1,000 yards across the parking lot from Walmart, Ross’ Dress For Less saw a steady flow in Black Friday traffic on Friday. Though the store had no special promotions, there was no decrease in customers looking for Christmas gift ideas.

“We’re a discount store, so we don’t have any special sales,” said store manager Jennifer Tannehill. “However, we’re still busy for that very reason.”

Tannehill said her location will be even busier as the day moves on, because Black Friday is still is a huge sales day for Ross’ Dress For Less, despite the lack of specials.

“Everybody’s still sleeping in, so they’ll get some breakfast or lunch, and they’ll come out,” she said. “We expect to be very busy later this afternoon.”