VIDEO: Woodbury shoppers race for Black Friday bargainsUnseasonably warm weather and hot deals on electronics drove Black Friday shoppers out by the thousands in Woodbury, opening the floodgates for the holiday retail season.
By: Mike Longaecker, Woodbury Bulletin
Unseasonably warm weather and hot deals on electronics drove Black Friday shoppers out by the thousands in Woodbury, opening the floodgates for the holiday retail season.
Most of the shoppers in line at local retailers had one item in their crosshairs – televisions.
Woodbury resident Todd Carlson was among the scores of people lined up outside the Oakdale Best Buy counting down the minutes until the doors opened at midnight there.
He and his friends had a distinct advantage over those lined up behind them, however: they were first. The group had been camped out in front of the store since noon Wednesday.
“It was fine,” Carlson said. “I didn’t mind.”
He figured to save about $500 on purchases, most of which included Christmas gifts.
Though Carlson and his cohorts had free reign once the doors flew open, others outside the store waited even longer; the line at Best Buy wrapped around at least three sides of the shopping center’s building by 11:30 p.m.
Best Buy store manager Jason Flom said the numbers were easily the biggest he’d seen in three years at the store.
“This is way more than last year – and it’s a thick line,” he said, about 45 minutes before the doors opened there.
He credited Thursday’s warm weather and the new midnight opening time for the long lines.
At the Target on Valley Creek Road, hundreds were lined up before 11 p.m. Woodbury residents Shoaib Shaikh and Prem Rajesh were at the head of the line there.
Like shoppers at Woodbury’s Super Target, they were there for what many considered the premiere deal of the day – a 46-inch television selling for $298.
“We feel it is worth standing,” said Rajesh, huddled up next to Shaikh, who was bundled up in winter clothes and wrapped in a blanket.
Though a chilly breeze whipping through the Target parking lot kept them cool, both men agreed this year’s temperatures made things much more bearable – especially since they had been stationed outside the store since 4:30 p.m. Thursday.