West Virginians turn out for Black Friday shopping - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

West Virginians turn out for Black Friday shopping

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Logan-resident Jamie Maynard  arrived in Charleston at 9 p.m. Nov. 22 to take advantage of the deals. Logan-resident Jamie Maynard arrived in Charleston at 9 p.m. Nov. 22 to take advantage of the deals.
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Nov. 23 marked the beginning of the holiday season, and some Black Friday shoppers and employees said customers already were in the holiday spirit.

In fact, some shoppers, such as Nitro-resident Judy Wheatley, told The State Journal that their Black Friday experiences were "pleasant."

"We went to Walmart last night and no one got mad or mean. People were actually helping us," said Wheatley, who has shopped on Black Friday for eight years. "Another customer actually helped us get a PS3 off the shelf. Some of the women in the children's department were helping others get the right sizes. It was a very good experience."

Some stores gave out tickets that night for certain sought-after items. Wheatley said she liked this idea and said it could have cut down the madness.

"All we had to do is wait in line," she said. "I liked that."

Many stores in the Charleston Town Center Mall opened at midnight, with a few opening as early as 8 p.m. Thanksgiving day.

Even with the long hours, two mall employees said customers have been patient although the stores have been busy.

"From the time we opened up the doors, it's been busy," said Foot Locker employee David Taylor. "It was steady, and we had a decently good morning until 4 a.m. … Everyone has been patient and everyone has had smiles on their faces."

Others may not have seen the initial burst of business. Lindsey Shamblin, an employee at Kid Country Toys, said the store did not get busy until 8 a.m. despite the fact it opened at midnight with many of the mall's other retailers.

"Since then we've been swamped," she said, later adding, "Everyone has been nice this year."

Some people, such as Logan resident Jamie Maynard, traveled long distances to take advantage of the deals. Maynard said she arrived in Charleston at 9 p.m. Nov. 22.

She said she started out at Target and came to the mall around 2 a.m.

"I'm getting a little tired," she admitted, noting she has been shopping on Black Friday for six years.

So why does she shop on Black Friday?

"I get the best deals," she said. "It's fun and it's an adrenaline rush."

But figuring out the logistics takes planning.

"We started planning last week to figure out what we were going to do," she said. "Once we go in, we circle around. We mainly plan what we want to get before going in, but we do get stuff that's not on the list."

Connie Marano of Charleston said she and her family came to the Charleston mall around 6 a.m.

"I was pleasantly surprised that the crowds weren't so bad," she said. "We refused to go to South Ridge this year because of past experiences. … I used to go to South Ridge until five years ago. It was too crazy. I can't take the madness."

"I think it's neat when I get to go out with the girls and kick off the Christmas season," Marano later added.