AUSTIN - For many people, Black Friday shopping began on Thursday.
Outside the Super Target on Lakeline Mall Blvd. in North Austin, hundreds of shoppers lined up for their chance to snag a deal.
“I usually wait, because it's really expensive at every time, and it's really cheap right now,” explained Manny Suarez, the first person on line.
Along with his stepbrothers, his group waited four hours for the doors to swing open at 6 on Thursday evening.
“I’ve got my stepbrothers with me, and we’ve got a Nintendo Switch, and we’ve got lots of Nintendo devices. And we were all playing games and trading Pokemon with each other, which is what we would have been doing anyway at home, you know what I mean. So why not just do it here,” said Suarez, who planned to buy an Xbox.
It took about 16 minutes of continuous walking for the line to clear.
“It's pretty crazy for Thanksgiving night,” said Marion Holliday, who waited for about an hour.
Some of the most popular items included video games, TVs and children’s toys.
“We’ve got two boys, so we’re hitting up the tablets and we’re getting some toys and some pajamas, and maybe some things for ourselves,” explained Tiffany Wells, who waited in line with her husband.
The Wells said they prepared prior to showing up.
“We've got a map already, we did the app, we like know where things are. We found out the electronics are actually in the freezer section,” said Wells, referring to the placement of the TVs inside the store.
While this Target was packed, the online market has made a dent in Black Friday hysteria. The National Retail Federation reports Black Friday in-store shoppers decreased by three million people last year.
"Because of Amazon, most of the stores can't offer the doorbuster that they used to. They have to compete online,” said Janice Lieberman, a consumer analyst with DealNews.
But these shoppers aren't swayed by the trend.
“You get it right away. You don't have to wait 7 to 10 business days, in case something gets cancelled,” said Holiday.
And for many, it’s more than just deals.
“It’s more about the family bonding,” explained Stephanie Wickliffe. “The deals are great but the quality time is even better.”
Wickliffe and her group wore matching outfits to celebrate the occasion.
“I love to match. I have nine grandkids and I make them match all the time, so I started making them match. And each year, it's just gotten a little more,” explained Paula Wickliffe.
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