While most were waking up to begin preparing their Thanksgiving day meal, a group of Lawrence residents were already camped outside of Best Buy, forgoing a day filled with turkey, pie and family for a spot in line for Black Friday deals.
William Robbins, of Lawrence, and Brenton Swart, of Wichita, waited outside Best Buy, 2020 W. 31st St., starting at 7:30 a.m. Swart traveled to Lawrence to wait with Robbins because people had been waiting in line in Wichita for more than two days.
“Black Friday is a bigger deal now,” Swart said.
The duo were third and fourth in line and had their eyes on a 48-inch television, marked down from $478 to $179. Robbins’ family brought the two food, and they listened to radio to pass the time. Robbins and Swart, as well as the two in line before them, were the only people waiting until about 1 p.m. when others began showing up to form a line for the store’s opening.
The two missed Thanksgiving gatherings but thought the deal was too good to pass on.
“Our families understand to get $300 off is a big deal,” Robbins said.
Best Buy was scheduled to open at midnight, but other stores already had sales beginning Thanksgiving Day.
Target, 3201 Iowa St., opened its doors at 9 p.m. Thursday, and Walmart’s sales began at 8 p.m.
Lawrence resident Sarah Thompson got to Walmart, 3300 Iowa St., at 5 p.m. to buy a tablet when the Black Friday discounts started.
Thompson doesn’t usually brave the Black Friday crowd, but saw the store was opening early and thought it would be better to get her shopping done before the “mad chaos.”
“We did some looking online, then looked through ads. This is a bit more convenient than driving to Topeka,” Thompson said.
Thompson found the 8 p.m. opening helpful, but not all shoppers agreed with the early discounts.
Bridget Wood and Candice Lavalette, of Lawrence, along with four more family members, got to Best Buy at 5:30 p.m. to wait in line to buy a television. The group had already eaten a Thanksgiving meal together and didn’t like the idea of Black Friday becoming Black Thursday.
“I think it’s stupid. It’s taking away from family time,” Lavalette said.
Wood said making the stores open on Thursday instead of Friday forces the customers to shop on Thanksgiving day because if they wait, they won’t be able to get the deal they wanted.
Despite the lack of family and food, Robbins and Swart thought the sacrifice was worth the guarantee of getting the television on sale.
“We’re going to get our products is all I care about,” Robbins said.