North Huntingdon mother, son consider themselves Black Friday shopping veterans

| Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012, 8:54 p.m.

Shopping has become as much of a Thanksgiving tradition as turkey and stuffing in the Rogers home in North Huntingdon.

Carol Rogers, 56, and her son, Brenden, 26, consider themselves Thanksgiving and Black Friday shopping veterans. They shop all day on Thanksgiving, return home to eat and rest, and then go back out to shop until the wee hours of the morning.

“Brenden comes home every year and we figure out what we want, where it's at and how we're going to do it,” Carol said. “Brenden looks at the ads and figures out our battle plan, as he likes to call it.”

Although Brenden, who lives in New York City, plans to fly back to the Norwin region in time for Thanksgiving, he said he is taking a train back to New York City, to avoid paying extra baggage fees for his Black Friday finds.

Black Friday means big bucks for retailers.

About 147 million people plan to go shopping on Black Friday weekend, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation.

Last year, shoppers spent a record $52.4 billion over the course of Black Friday weekend, the Retail Federation reported.

Carol said Black Friday shopping has been tradition in her family since she began shopping with her mother, Phyllis Corcoran, and grandmother, Marie Corcoran.

“When I started, it wasn't as crazy as it is now,” she said. “There obviously weren't the mad dashes and people trampling over each other, and there would be enough for everybody trying to find a bargain – it was a lot more civilized.”

Growing up, Carol said, her Black Friday excursions began at 7 or 8 a.m., and focused mostly on purchasing clothing.

Now, a typical Thanksgiving features Carol getting up at about 6 or 7 a.m., to put the turkey in the oven, with the heat set to low. Soon after, they head out to the stores.

“I love waking up to the smell of turkey, then heading right out to the stores,” Brenden said.

Although Brenden and Carol begin thinking of items they'd like to purchase on Black Friday during the summer, the duo begins planning their excursion in late October, when the ads begin showing up on several websites and shopping forums, Brenden said.

This year, they plan to focus on several items for Brenden's new apartment, such as a vacuum cleaner and slow cooker, at Target, Macys, Kmart and Walmart. They also expect to visit Old Navy to buy clothes.

“We like to lay all the ads out, make a list of items, stores and prices,” Brenden said. “You have to look at the prices, any special offers and when the store opens and sale times to see if you can get to each store and in line in time.

“If, by chance, we get behind schedule or can't make it to a store, we look to see if another store has the same item, and plan to go there.”

Carol said late-night shopping sprees take a toll on them but are worth it.

“It gets tiring, but when we're done we come home, take a nap, and are good for the rest of the day,” Carol said. “It's a fun tradition and gives us the thrill of hunting for the best buys.

“The way I see it is if you know you need some things and plan to buy them anyway, why not get up and get them at a good price?”

Brad Pedersen is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8626, or

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