Stores don't wait for Friday to begin 'Black Friday' sales
By Chris Buckley
Published: Friday, Nov. 23, 2012, 12:46 a.m.
Nicki Wallace and her mother, Mindy Keylor, sat on stadium chairs, wrapped in blankets for six hours outside the Rostraver Township Kmart.
They sat at the front of a line of roughly 200 waiting for the first wave of Black Friday sales that took affect 8 p.m. Thursday.
Wallace of Van Meter and Keylor of Smithton have made the Black Friday experience an annual event for four years running. They were waiting for a special TV sale, hoping to buy the big ticket item as a gift for Wallace.
It's fun for me,” Wallace said. “We make it fun. But if I don't get one of those tickets for a TV… .”
Shoppers hungry for seasonal gifts had their appetites whetted locally by Kmart and Walmart, which began offering Black Friday specials Thursday.
Kendra Brown of McKeesport said she waited in line four hours to buy televisions for her children.
“I enjoy the Black Friday experience,” Brown said. “It gets me motivated for the season.”
Ron Beck of McKeesport was surprised to receive a ticket for the only computer on special.
He said the good deals bring him out. He doesn't worry about budgeting for the holiday season.
“I never think about it,” Beck said. “I get what I want and put it under the tree.”
Marie Hall of Monessen stood in line for a 32-inch TV – only to find that offer began Thursday morning.
Kmart opened 6 a.m. Thursday and closed at 4 p.m., before reopening at 8 p.m. The store remained open until 3 a.m., then reloaded the specials with another opening at 5 Friday morning.
Store Manager Jim Kurta said it was the first time Kmart offered two major sales events in one day.
“The public has been very positive,” Kurta said. “The TVs and electronics are the big draws, but people are buying everything. There are a lot of buy one, get one free offers.”
Kurta said this opening day was a lot stronger than last year. He credited strong sales to Kmart's aggressive marketing campaign nationwide.
At Walmart, shoppers arrived for 8 p.m. specials as well.
The entire parking lot of the Rostraver Township Walmart was full as some shoppers circled the lot looking for openings. The traffic was further complicated because yellow emergency tape blocked the fire lane at the front of the store.
Inside, employees handed out maps where customers could find special sale items. Grace Burkholder of Monessen said she got to the store around 7:10 p.m. and only waited about 15 minutes in the checkout line to purchase a few kitchen items and small appliances.
“I've only been here about an hour,” Burkholder as she wheeled her gifts out of the store.
Heather Skobel of Charleroi was placing a new bicycle in her car about a half hour after arriving at the store. She was headed to the tire center to pick up an air hockey game as she relived the experience.
“It's crazy in there,” Skobel said.
But Dawn Cesovski of Donora was less than pleased with her experience.
“It's horrible,” Cesovski said. “They have displays in the middle of the store. I'll never come back again.”
Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers safety Polamalu finds himself in tough position
- LeBeau wants to come back as Steelers defensive coordinator
- Kovacevic: A great day to appreciate No. 68
- Pitt’s Donald sweeps Outland, Bednarik awards, named All-American
- Power play, penalty kill help put Penguins on another 100-point pace
- Man wounded in Mt. Lebanon apartment shooting
- Pirates claim 3 pitchers in minor league Rule 5 draft
- Penguins notebook: Popularity with female fans brings test event to Consol
- Duo sought in spate of Greensburg graffiti
- Steelers notebook: Cutting down turnovers, sacks hasn’t led to victories
- Discovery of mummified body in Bellevue under investigation