Local shoppers go to extremes for Black Friday deals

Shoppers line up outside Fayette Mall for Black Friday shopping on Friday, November 24, 2017 in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Arden Barnes | Staff

Rick Childress

Deal-hungry masses braved the cold for hours outside Fayette Mall during the morning leading up to Black Friday.

“I actually came last night around 11’o clock,” said Jayden Pennington, who was first in line for the mall’s 6 a.m. opening. 

Pennington, a high school student from London, Kentucky, had waited all night in 30-degree-weather with his friends at one of the mall entrances.

“We’ve never did this before so we just wanted to try it out,” he said.

Valerie Bohannon, a political science sophomore, arrived at the mall at 5 a.m.

“I actually never went to sleep,” Bohannon said. “I did Target and Walmart last night and I just kind of pushed through the night because I figured I wouldn’t wake up on time for this.”

Black Friday has long been a controversial subject with stories of trampled people and over-zealous shoppers dominating headlines in recent years. Many people question the ethicality of America’s newest comercially-driven holiday.

“I think that it’s a pretty good thing,” Bohannon said. “I don’t necessarily like that it’s been pushed back to Thanksgiving, just because I think it commercializes it too much and you don’t have that time to spend with family.”

Shopping at Fayette Mall was relatively tame, as—under the watchful eye of a half dozen news cameras and security—thousands of deal-hungry shoppers streamed unimpeded through the mall’s entrances. 

Black Friday and Cyber Monday combine to make the weekend after Thanksgiving the biggest shopping weekend of the year. 

Approximately 69 percent—164 million—of Americans said they planned on taking advantage of the weekend’s deals, a National Retail Federation survey reported.

The survey found that 70 million planned to shop on Thanksgiving Day, 115 million planned to shop on Black Friday, 71 million for Small Business Saturday and 78 million plan to patronize Cyber Monday.

The federation said they would release the weekend’s shopping results on Nov. 28, the day after Cyber Monday.