Black Friday sales at Summit County Walmart had shoppers cramming carts
With Thanksgiving leftovers not yet cold or likely even fully digested, a few thousand shoppers flocked to Walmart in Frisco Thursday evening for a little after-dinner overindulgence in capitalism, doing their part to boost the economy and getting a jump on the holiday season.
Walmart welcomed the masses with open arms and doorbuster deals that started at 6 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, with a second round of sales at 8 p.m. and still more offers on Friday. Eager shoppers were already in line at 5:30 a.m. waiting for the sales to begin.
“It seems like it gets earlier every year,” store manager Jason Spatz said while fielding questions about sale prices and giving customers directions. This is the first year Walmart Black Friday sales started before midnight, with items on sale throughout the evening.
“You gotta go to Black Friday,” Colorado Springs native Barbara Lewin said with a smile, standing in line with family members and two full shopping carts.
Spatz estimated that his store would do between 8,000 and 10,000 transactions Thursday, yielding about $300,000 in sales. In a normal day, that Walmart typically accounts for around $75,000 in sales.
“It’s my favorite night of the year,” assistant store manager Anthony Martinez said, sharply dressed in a white shirt and black vest. “It’s fun, man. You’d be amazed the amount of planning that goes into this. We plan for it all year.”
Starting in September the store really focuses its efforts, he said, and after all the months of planning, “It’s just fun to watch the chaos.”
Flatscreen TVs and discounted iPads were among the leading purchases filling customers’ shopping carts. Scores of others rummaged through grab bins with video games and Blu-ray discs marked down more than 50 percent. A number of shoppers carried as many as 20 DVDs and games in their arms, either looking for their carts or simply standing in line.
With police officers on hand near the registers, the “chaos” was in reality quite structured, unlike in years past, one officer said.
This year Spatz’s team of employees created a maze of blocked-off aisles complete with a blue-tape line on the floor directing customers toward the registers.
“It was very organized,” Lewin’s husband, Paul, said, adding that they’d waited in line for about 45 minutes to get to the registers at the front of the store.
Some savvy shoppers found registers in other locations — like the electronics department — with only two or three people in line.
Spatz said that last year the store didn’t have the same system set up, and it led to a disorganized rush of around 6,000 people vying for registers.
Things this year ran more smoothly, and according to both Spatz and Martinez the scene was nothing compared with stores in bigger markets like Denver and Salt Lake City.
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