LIMA — Black Friday has gradually become a misnomer over the last few years as more stores begin their holiday sales on Thanksgiving evening instead of first thing Friday morning, and shoppers are right there hunting for bargains.
Randy Martin, of Delphos, said Thursday shopping has become a tradition with his daughter, Abby Martin. They go out every year after finishing Thanksgiving dinner, he said while waiting for the cash register line to move at Kohl’s Thursday evening.
“We usually have a plan,” he said. “We look at fliers on Thursday morning. We go whereever has good deals.”
Julia Stechschulte and her mother, Ronda, said they venture out every year on Thursday. They had stopped Kohl’s, Meijer and JCPenney before stopping at Bath & Body Works at the Lima Mall.
“It’s a sport,” Ronda Stechschulte said, while chuckling.
They said they shop as much for themselves as they do for gifts for other people.
This year was the Oakman family’s first time shopping for Black Friday deals. They stopped at Dunham’s before pulling up and seeing a line of people wrapped around Kohl’s waiting for the doors to open, said Stacy Oakman.
“We cheated,” said Denise Oakman, Stacy’s wife. “We waited in the car until the doors opened and everyone went in.”
Denise Oakman said they came out this year because her husband wanted to see what the crowds were like.
“It’s decent,” Stacy Oakman said. “But it’s not crazy.”
He said the key to successful Black Friday shopping was to have one person designated to standing in line while everyone else shopped.
Matthew Roberts and girlfriend Danielle Davidson said they were out shopping Thursday evening because they didn’t have anything else to do. They moved to the area in July from Georgia and don’t have family to spend Thanksgiving with, Davidson said.
“We’re just looking around, really,” Roberts said. “We don’t have our minds on anything. I usually find something I want, but so far not this year.”
He said they first stopped at Walmart before moving on to the Lima Mall but left because it was too crowded. The larger the crowd, the higher the chances of bad stuff happening, he said.
“Black Friday, people get crazy,” he said, adding he once witnessed a man pick up a cart and throw it at someone during Black Friday shopping.
Reach Bryan Reynolds at 567-242-0362