Hurry up and wait: Shoppers skip turkey to sit in cold for retail bargains

Shannon Litz / Nevada Appeal

Shannon Litz / Nevada Appeal

The Carson High School's senior project drove Angela Martin to camp out at Best Buy in hopes of saving $200-$300 on a laptop.

"I really need a laptop for (it,)" she said.

It's not Martin's first Black Friday but this year, it's encroached into her Thanksgiving and not everyone in her family is OK with it. Martin showed up at the retailer at 9:30 a.m. Thursday.

"My mom was in a bad mood this morning," Martin, 17, said. "She said, 'You're crazy.' They said, if I wanted to do it, I could go right ahead."

A few years ago, when Best Buy opened later in the morning, Martin was both on the other side of the building (warmer) and able to attend her own family's Thanksgiving.

"I got in, and was like, this is fine," she said.

Last year, near opening time, the line was so long that she and her family decided to skip the retailer and head instead to a rival.

Needing to show up so early to save money has not left a sweet taste in Martin's mouth.

"I feel like it's Black Thursday," she said, adding retailers should allow families to at least share a meal together on Thanksgiving proper.

Jon Miles showed up about the same time Martin did, although he had a more ambitious savings plan of an estimated $1,200 to $1,500 off of retail prices.

Miles, too, said he missed Thanksgiving although his family is somewhat spread out and his girlfriend is working during the day.

"If it weren't at midnight, I wouldn't be here," Miles said. "I would just wait until Christmas and save up a little bit more."

Both Martin and Miles, sitting next to each other in line, said they will go to Walmart after getting their fill at the electronics retailer. Martin said she wanted a Nintendo Wii gaming system and Miles said he wanted $2 DVDs.

Jessica Childers had the full support of her husband as she waited in line, hoping to save $200-$300 on a laptop. Her husband rolled up in a blue minivan, to deliver coffee, a pillow, a scarf, a hat and had already delivered a day without the kids.

Childers said she has no desire to shop after she gets the laptop for her husband, who needs it for work.

Amber Ballam brought Josh Braun and Kellie Ballam for support while waiting. Amber and Josh did their reconnaissance before coming to wait in line, around 2:45 p.m. They said they drove by Wednesday night and Thursday morning to check the length of the line. The three had already had Thanksgiving dinner and were ready for the wait.

Amber put her hand on Josh's leg.

"He's just here for my potty break," she said.

Amber said she wanted a TV, an Xbox 360 for her son's birthday and possibly a laptop, her mind not yet made up.

The three thought the line would be packed by 3 p.m. Thursday but were surprised at the relatively minor line.

"We thought at least 50 people would be here," Amber said.

After getting the big ticket items, Amber and Josh are going to go to Kohl's for a comforter, luggage and clothing for her.

"I only shop one time a year," Josh said.


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