Millions of shoppers around the country got an early start to Black Friday shopping.
Many started scoring the best deals of the year, on Thanksgiving Day.
We visited the Target store on 4th Avenue in Sacramento. The first person in line said he had been there since 11 a.m. Thursday.
Shopper Anthony Osuna said he had been standing in line since noon. His hope was to secure a 40-inch TV for $119. He said it was a deal worth sacrificing a traditional Thanksgiving dinner for.
“I haven’t eaten yet, so I’ll do that later tonight,” he said. “It’s a tradition I do. Go out by myself have fun.”
Another shopper, Eddie Villasenor, is a self proclaimed 49er fan. But he said tonight only, he’d rather shop than watch the game
“I record it,” he said. “Anything for that 50 inch, so I can watch them later on it.”
A hour before opening, the store sent out what they call “Line Service Ambassadors.” These are employees who inform gusts of safety rules, and give freebies and ticket vouchers for the hot ticket items prior to opening. This is a tactic big box retailers have been using for the last few years to avoid messy fiascos.
“We control entry to the building,” Target store team leader, Russell Enyart said. “We make sure the guests are informed the entire time. We pass out granola bars, explain how the entry system is going to work, we talk about the really hot items, and hand out tickets for those, so people aren’t trying to trample each other to get it. They know if they have a ticket they get that hot item. We try to make sure they have a safe and fun experience.”
Osuna was one of 40 people, who were guaranteed the 40-inch TV with a ticket voucher. Because of that, when the doors opened at 6 p.m., he was able shop leisurely for the items on his list without the pushing and shoving.
He and his stepfather and friend walked outside the store 16 minutes later, with three big ticket items. His receipt showed two 40-inch TVs and a Keurig coffee maker for $373. On top of that, he received a free $25 Target gift card. He said that was well worth the wait, but he was not done.
“Next, I’m going to go to Arden Mall, go to Best Buy, and look for possible game system tonight!”
The Target store at 6507 4th Avenue in Sacramento will remain open until 11 p.m. Black Friday. From Saturday, they will return to normal business hours.