The only thing that did materialize at the north store was cars and customers carting packages to vehicles in the far reaches of the Walmart parking lot that overflowed to Olive Garden, Staples and Lowe’s.
Hernando Ramirez said his shopping experience at the supercenter went smoothly.
“That’s the most cashiers I’ve seen in Walmart, ever,” he said. “We went to Walmart and bought two laptops, a Nintendo Wii, vacuum cleaner —.”
“We got a vacuum cleaner?” his wife, Brittany, quickly asked, then added, “Oh yeah, it has been a long night.”
“It was pretty packed and I was expecting to see people beat each other, but it went pretty good,” Hernando said.
From Walmart, the Ramirezes, Brittany’s sister, Lindsay Davis, and Roman Prok went to Kohl’s and waited three hours, “and then we went home to get the blankets.”
The offer of $8 small appliances lured the Clevelanders to JCPenney. The foursome established camp in front of the store at about 3 a.m., though it was unnecessary.
They had blankets and gloves for warmth. Hernando wore his 3-year-old son Keaghan’s knit stocking cap. They passed the time playing cards and kicking Keaghan’s rubber ball, and conversed over carry-out from Steak n’ Shake while they waited until the store opened at 6 a.m.
Brittany Ramirez said she liked the midnight store openings, “so you’re not spending your whole Thanksgiving shopping, but you’re still able to shop earlier and get to bed earlier. I don’t like it that stores open at 2 (in the afternoon) because people aren’t spending time with their families.”
Corey and Elizabeth Moats, of Georgetown, were first in line at Kmart during the second doorbuster at 8 p.m. The couple bought a Droid tablet, gun cabinet and makeup at the first opening at 6 a.m. Thursday morning.
“We were a little bit late to the first one. We got here about an hour before opening and we were a pretty good ways back in line,” he said. “We were after a 50-inch flat screen TV the first time but we didn’t get it. We have our voucher for it this time. It’s worth standing in line for.”
They went home after their first shopping excursion and ate turkey dinner, took a quick nap and returned to Kmart at 2:30 p.m. to get their place in line for 8 o’clock.
“We’re going to Walmart after this to get some of their 96 cent DVDs,” he said.
The Moatses went shopping on Black Friday for the first time last year “and we got the bug,” he said. “I kind of like them breaking it up (store openings) a little bit. You get a better chance of getting the merchandise you’re after.”
Kmart shoppers Angie Wilcoxon and her daughter said they would return for the 5 a.m. opening if she was still awake. She likes the convenience of Thanksgiving Day shopping.
“Last year the time differences were too spread out. We went to Target and Kohl’s and we may have come here. It was too spread out last year. It doesn’t seem to be that way this year, because a lot of things are at 8, Target’s at 9, Walmart’s at 10 and others at midnight,” Wilcoxon said.
Denise Shackleford, of Cleveland, arrived at Kmart at 1 o’clock Thursday morning for the early doorbuster. She said it was only somewhat worth her time because there was a limit on purchases. She still left with a 32-inch TV, a 42-inch plasma TV and a tablet.
“I wanted a 50-inch TV for my mother and father for Christmas, but I was too late, they were already gone,” she said. “I’m going to go to Walmart (after leaving Kmart). They don’t put a limit on it.”
Tina McCracken and her daughter, Brynn, a graduate student at University of Tennessee-Knoxville, arrived at Target for that store’s 11 p.m. opening shortly after Jan Hartley, president of Third World Church Builders, who arrived at 2:43 p.m.
“They’ve got me timed,” Hartley said.
The McCrackens are experienced Black Friday shoppers and used the time in line to coach Hartley, who is a rookie shopper. He was in line for a vacuum cleaner. The two women were after a 50-inch TV, Rachel Ray pots and pans and an iPad.
“We were first in line two years ago,” Tina said. “We’ve been waiting for you to take our picture again this year.”