We are used to seeing the lines and miniature tent villages outside many retailers on Black Friday. But each year, it seems the lines begin earlier and earlier, and now it appears stores did not want to wait for the tryptophan to wear off before opening their doors to credit-card carrying crowds.
Patch reported Thursday about a patient line of customers waiting for Best Buy to open at midnight, but many other stores had sales starting even earlier. Shopko re-opened at 8 p.m. while Walmart had big sales scheduled for 8 and 10 p.m. and midnight. Target had a huge line for their 9 p.m. opening, and the line for Kohl's Department Store, which opened at midnight, snaked down the sidewalk in front of other shops in the same strip center.
Apparently, though, the those dark and early sales gobbled up all the Black Friday shoppers. By 8 a.m. Friday, the stores were pretty quiet.
Laura, an associate at WalMart, said that it was pretty slow all morning.
"Most of the crowds came in last night," she confirmed.
There were no lines and no waiting this morning - which is an odd sight at WalMart on any day, really.
John Zielinski, an employee at Best Buy stated, "The crowd today was about the same as last year, if not a little larger."
Everything has been running very smoothly, he added.
The aisles at Best Buy offered plenty of elbow room and there was more than enough staff on hand to answer questions.
Meanwhile, at Regency Mall, while the parking lot looked pretty full, the mall was not very crowded and even Santa looked a bit lonely.
So it appears as though the crowds that rushed stores late Thursday night and early Friday morning have drifted back to bed. All this rushing and blurring of holidays does make you wonder, doesn't it, if in a few years the lines of anxious deal seekers will begin on Halloween?