Holiday shoppers got a head start on working off those Thanksgiving calories when retailers began opening their doors earlier than ever.
This year, several major retailers, like Walmart and K-Mart, began their sales on Thanksgiving Day.
Walmart, which is open 24 hours, kept its doors open all night, but had sales starting at 8 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, a nd continuing throughout today. The retail giant opened two hours earlier than it did the previous year.
New Iberia Walmart employee Rory Davis said he does not mind having the Black Friday deals earlier. In fact, he prefers it.
“It works out better for the workers; I really can’t say how it was for the customers, but it’s working out better for us as associates to get everything cleaned up after the crowd is out of the store,” said Davis.
Davis, who has worked for Walmart for four years, said he has worked four Black Fridays. He said the crowds were nearly the same size as last year, but they shopped at different times.
“This year the crowd was a little different. They were a little more calm. Last year, they were a little more aggressive. They were calm, but they had a focus. It looked like they were focused on certain items in the store.”
Rather than opening its doors earlier, Radio Shack opened at its normal time of 6 a.m. today to kickoff holiday sales. More than 30 people filled the store immediately after opening, most in search of TVs and cell phones.
Even restaurants are joining in the Black Friday madness. Sonic offered half price breakfast burritos all day.
Checkers on Admiral Doyle, which is typically open from 9 a.m. to 4 a.m. on Fridays, opened at midnight to accommodate Black Friday shoppers.
K-Mart had three “doorbuster” sales this year, one from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, another from 8 p.m. Thursday to 3 a.m. Friday and the final from 5 a.m. to close on Friday.
Shopper Lori Harrington said she and her family went to four stores between 6:30 p.m. Thursday and 6 a.m. Friday.
“We went to Lafayette first and everybody was very patient and courteous. It wasn’t bad; it was very pleasant. Then we came to New Iberia and it was no problem at all,” said Harrington.
She said they waited in line for an hour and a half to shop K-Mart’s 5 a.m. Black Friday deal. She said the experience was pleasant because there were not many people in the store.
“We came to get TVs, which they didn’t have because they didn’t come in on the trucks, so we didn’t get TVs. We just got some household things,” she said.
Harrington, who has shopped Black Friday sales for years, said she and her family had been awake for nearly 24 hours, but the sales were worth the exhaustion.
Davis said overall, working retail on Black Friday is an interesting experience.
“How can people actually stay up so late and want to get something so bad that they lose all their sleep to stay up for a sale? I think that’s interesting,” said Davis.