Today is Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving when everyone suddenly remembers that Christmas and Chanukah are coming and the urgency to get every bit of holiday shopping done before you turn into a snowflake (or something) becomes overwhelming that even lines of 100 other people just like you aren’t the slightest deterrent.
Last night at 11 p.m., on the way to see how everyone was doing in the cold. As I passed by the Post Mall in Milford, I noticed the front parking lot was full, the parking garages had scattered available spaces and the rear lot was still up for grabs.
The parking lot at Toys R Us was full, but no line outside the door, everyone was still inside their cars at that point.
Onward to Orange, the Shopping Mecca of Amity. Ironically only three stores of the hundreds opened their doors early this year. Instead of 4 a.m. or 6 a.m., Kohl’s and Best Buy both opened around midnight.
Shoppers were buzzing in and out of Target at 11:10 p.m., while next door at Best Buy, the shoppers had camped out since lunchtime, looping in front of the building, past Pet Smart and along the side of the parking lot all the way past the McDonald’s drive thru window.
Those closest to the Best Buy doors were well mannered, perhaps because of the presence of a big Police German Shepherd — yes, Officer Kosh was there with Max, and other officers also were keeping the peace on this highly anticipated evening.
A block away at Kohl’s the parking lot also was full and the line outside was four abreast as it just started to make the bend around the building.
But is missing Thanksgiving Dinner with your family and being first in line really the only way to get Black Friday Bargains?
Wrapped warmly in blankets, Jarod and Paul said they come every year, not necessarily to buy anything, but just to be part of the excitement.
“Even when you’re this close to the front of the line, there’s a chance that a 50″ tv will be sold out once you get inside,” Jarod said. “If I get one, I get one, great. I’ll probably sell it on eBay tomorrow anyway.”
“It’s more of a game for us,” Paul added. “We don’t have any expectations going in, that way we’re not disappointed.”
“Our wives don’t understand it though,” Jarod said. “Sometimes explaining it to them is harder than fighting the crowds inside the store.”
Over at Kohl’s Karen K, Sue L. and Debbie H. are sisters, the Black Friday pilgrimage has been a family tradition since the 80s when their children were toddlers.
“The stores opened at the crack of dawn back then and we were home by the time the kids woke up,” Sue said.
“It was so much fun back then because there was Bradlees, Caldor, and other stores to shop at,” added Karen. “Now we have our favorite stores, like Kohls where we get our all around gifts for everyone.”
“I’m the only one with grandchildren, so I will go to Toys R Us for a few things, but Kohl’s is my favorite store now,” Debbie said.
I went online on Wednesday night just after 6 p.m. and found my Black Friday sales already available for online shopping.
At Kohl’s I even received $45 Kohl’s Cash to spend at a later date and ordered all the items I wanted without stepping foot outside or having to leave the dog alone again.
And Electronics, Yep, I got those too. And the beauty of working from home is that I will be there when the UPS truck drops the boxes off.
BLACK FRIDAY SALES
L.L. Bean (near Trader Joe’s) is having its Black Friday event today from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. with 25% off everything in the store.
Material Girls, 463 Boston Post Road (same building as Kaoud Rugs) has Black Friday weekend specials all weekend long and a special discount when you bring in a new unwrapped toy donation for the Yale Children’s Hospital Toy Closet.
Kaoud Oriental Rug offers a discount of rugs and on rug cleaning with a toy donation.
As an an added treat, The Sugar Cupcake Truck will be there today from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.