Early on the day before Black Friday in Carson City was a surprise because of the lack of shoppers waiting for stores to open.
Ninety minutes before scheduled evening openings, here were customers lined up outside just two major stores — Best Buy and Target. Best Buy had a line of only about 30 customers. At Target, there were only five.
A security official at Best Buy said that is far fewer than last year or the year before.
The lack of shoppers early might be in part because of resentment over Black Friday’s expansion into Thanksgiving Day, when, traditionally, nearly all retailers have been closed.
There were no lines at that point in the afternoon outside other major chain stores in the area, including Kohl’s, J.C. Penney, Office Depot and Home Depot. Some stores, such as Kohl’s, did have lines later.
One store official who asked not to be identified because he doesn’t have the authority to speak for the chain said his manager thinks a lot of the reason is that shoppers can, in nearly all cases, now get the same deals shopping online without waiting hours for the actual store to open.
Rita Wilke of Carson City, first in line outside Target, offered an added reason for the lack of waiting customers: “It’s cold out here.”
Indeed, temperatures in Carson City as the sun disappeared behind C Hill at 4:30 p.m. was a chill 46 degrees.
Outside Best Buy, Natalia Munoz and Eduardo Arroyo were first in line along with friend Kyle Leonard. Munoz said she was looking for Christmas presents: a TV and computers.
Arroyo wanted the new Playstation 4, while Leonard was hoping to get its competition, the new Xbox.
Behind them, Max Diaz was hoping to get the new iPad and a GoPro camera.
Wilke said she was glad there wasn’t a huge line for Target’s 6 p.m. opening because it meant she will get her deal.
“I need a TV,” she said.
Behind her, David and Veronica Durazo, new residents in Carson City, were pleased at the lack of competition to get inside Target first.
Durazo said they “escaped from California.” He was looking for a deal on the new iPad.
“They’re giving $20 off and they give you a $100 gift card,” he said.
Like Wilke, Gary Christianson was looking for a TV. He said his wife was waiting for the electronics section in Wal-Mart to open at 6 p.m., also looking for a flat-screen TV — hopefully, he said, a 32-inch for “98 bucks.”
“When I saw there were only five people in line here, I stopped,” he said.