Lines short, shoppers busy on Black Friday
Early morning shopping tradition remains busy
Todd Dougherty, of Sac City, had a couple of firsts Friday morning at the Fort Dodge Menards store.
“I was first in the lot and first at the door,” he said.
He arrived about 4:30 a.m.
He didn’t have to fight too many other shoppers. The line was only about 45 people long by the time employees opened the door a few minutes before the scheduled 6 a.m. opening.
Frank Bloom, of Fort Dodge, encountered the same scene an hour later at the Fort Dodge Target store.
“When COVID hit us, you didn’t get to go,” he said. “I told someone that after that, I’d never stand in line again yet here I am, eight in line.”
The tradition of getting up early, bundling up and grabbing a thermos of hot cocoa — or for the really dedicated — spending the night in line, seems another victim of the pandemic.
Beth Flores, of Fort Dodge, wasn’t surprised.
“The last couple of years it’s been small,” she said. “There’s a lot of online shopping, too.”
While the lines were short and didn’t form up until shortly before Menards and Target opened up, the shoppers were still in good supply. They just opted not to stand in line. Both stores were still busy.
Deb Johnson, of Fort Worth, Texas, was a bit surprised at the short line. She observed it forming up from her nice warm vehicle.
An earlier experience had soured her a bit on the tradition.
“I stopped doing Black Friday because somebody plowed through the line with their car,” she said.
She had a few must-get items on her list.
“I want to get my granddaughter some outdoor decor and of course, a Barbie,” she said.
First in the Menards line, Doughty had his Santa list taken care of last year. He didn’t have one this year.
“I’m just looking for a little of this and a little of that,” he said. “I got my generator last year, I don’t need one this year.”
Courtney Morris, of Clarion, got up at 5 a.m. to go shopping. She was ninth in line at Target — and also last in line until just a few minutes before they opened the doors at 7 a.m.
It was her first Black Friday shopping trek.
“I don’t know what all the fuss is about,” she said. “The line’s short.”
For Bloom, the early morning time in the line was more about getting to know your line neighbors.
“You miss talking to them in line,” he said.
He wasn’t so much shopping as enjoying the day with his son, Ethan Bloom, who wanted to shop in-person. Most of their Target cart was already full anyway. His wife took care of that.
“She shopped online,” he said. “We have things to pick up.”
Sheila Nelson, of Webster City, had plans probably shared by many of the other early birds.
“I’m going home and going back to bed,” she said.