Shoppers take advantage of early Black Friday sales

November 22, 2012 11:58:00 PM PST
Though the main sales begin early Friday morning, Thursday was still a busy day for shoppers and stores across the Bay Area. Apparently the deals are so good, it's worth missing Thanksgiving dinner at home.

Black Friday started on Thursday at the Kmart in Pinole. More than 500 people poured in when the doors opened at 8 p.m. But the line there started forming Wednesday night.

Berkeley resident Jouzette Luster and Richmond resident Sabrina Pope met there three years ago, "We see each other at Black Friday," Luster said. "We'll start texting each other maybe a month or two before."

Pope added, "As soon as she sent me a picture of herself displaying the number one, I rushed over there thirty minutes later!"

Most of the early birds want the cut rate deals on TV's and other electronics. The first shoppers at the Albany Target started showing up at 3 p.m.

"Ready to get an iPad and a 50 inch screen TV," Jimmisha Berge said.

And at the Best Buy in Pinole, shoppers have been in line since Sunday, waiting for the doors to open at midnight.

"How much am I gonna spend, probably 12 to 13 hundred dollars, but I'm saying about eight," El Sobrante resident Christina Hansen said.

Tempers flared at the Kmart when customers with rainchecks for limited TVs saw an employee carrying one out.

"I got a ticket for this TV," Kmart employee Jerome Hester said. "This was bought earlier, I work here."

Berkeley resident Matthew Smith said, "They got the advertised special to get us all in here, and there's a line of 300 people, they got two TV's."

Fellow Berkeley resident Alex Pope added, "I was supposed to have at least two, I only got one."

The management says the rainchecks should have matched up with the supply. But some customers who waited all day, left with nothing.

"It's wrong. It's wrong," Berkeley resident Alex Pope said. "I been here twice all day."

The crowds have been very friendly with each other. In fact, one woman who was at the front of the line cooked a Thanksgiving dinner and served it to the people camped out at the Best Buy in Pinole.

Many of the stores that opened Thursday night will stay open through Friday night.

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