MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — “Hurry up and wait” was the name of the game for shoppers eager to land a Black Friday deal on Thanksgiving Day.
About half a dozen people were camped out since the early morning hours at the Best Buy locations in Richfield and Eden Prairie. The store opened at 5 p.m.
“I thought it was going to be packed but it’s not,” said shopper David Rubio Perez.
He was near the front of the line in an effort to buy a 4K television for half the price. Only a few more people trickled in behind him after several hours.
Veteran shopper Sueneel Kumar Mallelea was in line for the third year in a row. He thinks the line was shorter this year because the Minnesota Vikings game kicked off at 11:30 a.m., as well as people preferring to shop online. He was also used to colder temperatures. He said last year it snowed on Thanksgiving.
“We were like with the full heater, heating pads and with a tent and chairs, everything,” he said.
They might be saving money, but shoppers at Gander Mountain were also saving time. The store opened in the morning, giving customers a chance to land a good deal earlier than most.
“I normally don’t do this but I saw an ad for this place today for this [ice fishing suit] that I really have wanted for a couple of years and it’s 50-percent off, so it was a perfect time to come,” said shopper Joe Althaus.
He timed out his trip so he could make a purchase and still get home in time to watch the Vikings. But manager Sommer Rouse said football games are not enough to slow down the shopping rush.
“Definitely doesn’t matter if the Vikings are on or if the Wild are playing. We definitely have good customer traffic all day,” Rouse said.
Shoppers got a warm welcome from staff as they walked in the doors, but deep down Althaus wishes the workers also had some time off.
“I’m contradicting myself that I don’t think [Thanksgiving shopping] is a good idea, but I’m glad it was for me today because I was able to score a really good deal,” Althaus said. “I feel bad for the employees, I do.”