On Black Friday, a test of endurance
Some went seeking electronics, others went in search of the perfect Christmas present with no certain idea of what that is.
For the thrifty but hearty souls who ventured out to shopping centers and malls in the wee hours of the morning, Black Friday was as much about endurance and determination as it was bargains.
Ronna Brestensky and her daughter, Kamri, both of Freeport, personified both.
Ronna headed to Kmart in New Kensington at 8 p.m. Thursday, fixed on getting a large flat screen TV but was too late to get a voucher for one of the TVs advertised there.
Undeterred, she went out at 1 a.m. to Best Buy and then Sears in the Pittsburgh Mills Mall in Frazer only to encounter more disappointment.
She returned to Kmart and found a 51-inch TV for a good price but wasn't able to leave with it.
“That was at 3 in the morning and the registers weren't working,” Ronna said.
So she returned around 12:45 p.m. to finally claim her prize with Kamri, who joined her at 5 a.m. to make a trip to Monroeville Mall in between.
“We've kind of made it a tradition,” Kamri said. “We've been doing this for seven years.”
Apparently, they are not alone.
Jen Cousins and her mother-in-law, Cheryl Cousins, both of Kittanning and Cheryl's daughter, Michelle Vorpe of Ford City, took a noontime break on a bench in the Mills mall from a Black Friday odyssey that they have launched every Black Friday for almost a decade.
“We came (to Mills) at 10:30 a.m., but we were at other places, ” Jen Cousins said, several Aeropostale bags sitting at her feet. “We started at our Walmart in Kittanning at 4:30 and then went to (Clearview Mall) in Butler. We didn't have to stand in line to get in anywhere.”
Asked if the bargains they have found are worth it, Vorpe said, “If it's worth it depends on how we are by the end of the day, how tired we are, how cranky we are. If it's a good shopping day, we can look past how tired we are.”
Pittsburgh Mills mall General Manager Jerry Crites said 30 to 40 stores opened at midnight, many more than in 2011.
“This is a big difference for us,” he said. “It's a total shift. It used to be we'd open at 6 a.m. and stay busy all day.”
He said with some stores being open Thursday and more opening at midnight, the mall was busy until 3 a.m., tailed off for several hours and then became busy again about 8 or 9 a.m.
Gary Cooper of Saxonburg and his daughter, Amanda Cooper of Hanover, pushed a shopping cart loaded with purchases through the mall.
“We had some lists of gifts for family members and we found some good deals,” Gary Cooper said, mentioning luggage they purchased in particular.
The Coopers said they came to the mall around 9 a.m. and pretty much found what they were after. “There's no need to be out at night, you can get the same deals,” Amanda Cooper said.
Rachel Locke, a New Kensington native who now lives in Perrysburg, N.Y., near Buffalo, was in town for Thanksgiving. She said she came out Friday with her kids looking for fun, not deals. “The kids just like the idea of (going shopping on Black Friday),” Locke said. “It's like the first day of hunting season for them. It's not so much for the deals as for the experience.”
But Black Friday shopping is not like that for everyone.
As they pushed a cart loaded with bags to their car in the parking lot at Kmart in New Kensington, Brittany and Ryan Mazzone had had enough and were ready to head back to their North Apollo home.
“We started last night at 8 p.m., now I need to go home,” Brittany said. “I can't see straight.”
She was hard at bargain-hunting all night only stopping to return home and get her husband up at 5 a.m. to join her.
She said she found some things at the Mills mall but did not do as well as last year. Brittany said she was irked by a group of people who apparently showed up early at Sears to get vouchers for low prices on some usually high-priced items such as electronics and then were selling those vouchers for $50 each to people in line.
For his part, Ryan Mazzone just shook his head. “It's not fun,” he said. “It can be a little bit aggravating.”
Tom Yerace is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4675 or email@example.com.
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.
- 2,200 union employees of ATI lose coverage
- Regoli won’t seek recount in Westmoreland County judge election
- Mentor takes young Brackenridge hunter under his wing
- New Kensington man killed in North Buffalo crash
- Shoppers can buy gifts for seniors through Home Instead program
- November spared Valley effects of wintry weather
- Tarentum Bridge falcon defends turf as eagles scout nesting locations
- South Butler students push composting as a way to slow food waste
- Christmas parade gets warm welcome in Saxonburg
- At-home schooling on snow days far from reality
- Body found in Allegheny River in Harrison