MIAMI VALLEY, Ohio (WDTN) – Black Friday kicked off on Thursday, but Miami Valley stores were bustling on Friday morning, as well.
Best Buy in Miami Township was bustling with shoppers by 6 p.m. on Thursday. Many people waited in line to purchase televisions that were on sale, while others braved the crowds for items like headphones and gaming systems.
Doors opened at 5 p.m. and the line to get inside stretched past the store next door. People waited in line as long as four hours to take advantage of the holiday deals.
“I had an early little Thanksgiving dinner just for this occasion,” said Derick Hamric.
“We’re on a strict time schedule,” said Hobie Babb, another shopper. “The turkey is still in the oven.”
Babb and May Dearmon told 2 NEWS they were able to find several gifts with Black Friday deals.
“This is the second time I did it and love it,” Dearmon said.
Jackie Lee arrived four hours early to be one of the first in line to get a new TV.
“They’re limited, so we wanted to make sure we had the opportunity to get one,” she said.
Some folks in the crowd are from the Dayton area but others drove a bit further to grab their gifts.
Jennifer Leiss from Shelby County said she goes shopping on Thanksgiving and Black Friday every year.
She shared some words of wisdom for those heading out to the stores:
“Hand warmers. They help a lot. Bring someone with you that way you can switch in and out of your vehicle and get warm for a minute and run and get something to eat, hot chocolate or whatever. It’s also helpful that way whenever you do get in the door, someone can run after one thing while you go and get the other.”
Many agree it’s best to plan ahead.
“Do the research so you can get right there,” Babb said. “Some stores have maps also to help you navigate easier.”
“It’s crazy, it’s hectic,” Hamric said. “But it’s a fun little time. It’s a good experience.”
Best Buy near the Dayton Mall will remain open until 1 a.m. The store will reopen Friday morning at 8 a.m.
Meanwhile, the Meijer off Stroop Road in Kettering says they’re currently offering three different sales involving electronics and other merchandise.
Shoppers can take advantage of lower prices on certain products throughout the store all week, but a special Black Friday deal on televisions and airpods only runs Thursday and Friday.
Store management says they are prepared for increased volume throughout the shopping season.
“We would expect next week will be busier than normal because of the condensed time frame. I think customers will realize, wow, there’s less shopping days this year and get out and shop even more aggressively,” said Store Director Bill Angell.
Kohl’s in Austin Landing opened at 5 pm on Thanksgiving Day and was still bustling early Friday morning. The store will be open until 10 pm Friday.
The average American is expected to spend about $1,000 this holiday season and 165 million Americans are expected to shop the five days around Thanksgiving Day, including Black Friday.
Experts estimate that 99 percent of those deals can be found online.
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