You know it's been a good holiday shopping morning when scads of people are leaving stores carrying big bags full of merchandise at 6:30 a.m. That was the scene on Black Friday in the greater Oklahoma City area as bargain hunters hit retailers that were offering deep discounts.
Husband-and-wife team Jeff and Stephanie Flowers, of Sulphur, had just walked out the doors at Penn Square Mall about 6:30 a.m. with plenty of bags of clothes on their way to buy tools at Sears in Norman.
“We left for Oklahoma City at 11 p.m. yesterday, and we haven't been to bed,” Stephanie Flowers said. “We've also been to Quail Springs Mall and Dick's Sporting Goods.”
Penn Square Mall Director of Marketing Mis Gaston said that between 500 and 900 people were lined up Thursday night at the mall's various entryways when they opened at midnight. She was just catching her breath after working from 10:45 p.m. on Thanksgiving until about 7 a.m. Friday.
“We call this (time) the calm before the storm,” Gaston said.
“I would say it was three times busier this year than last year, but our retailers know how it is done, and they are very prepared. I'm not tired yet because of the excitement of Black Friday.”
At the outlet mall ...
Later in the morning, Tonya Anderson and her daughter, Latoya Anderson, said they braved Thursday's long lines at Walmart and other stores but were happy for the short lines at The Outlet Shoppes at Oklahoma City's Coach store.
“At Walmart, they had the big TVs on sale at 10 p.m., and people had to wait for a long time, and often others had grabbed up the deals, but overall we got a good amount of shopping done,” Tonya Anderson said.
Norma Creech, 62, of Moore, said she was delighted to have found a special shirt at the outlet mall's Disney Store.
“I had bought this blouse at the Disney Store, and everyone bragged on it,” Creech said.
“It got lost during a trip to California when my bags went missing at the airport. I looked for it online and couldn't find it, but I found it here today.”
She said she shopped at the Target in Moore at 9 p.m. Thursday because she wanted to buy her grandson a gaming system.
“It was really crowded,” Creech said. “I didn't get out of there until after midnight, but the grandkids are worth it.”
At Quail Springs Mall ...
Quail Springs Mall's Hickory Farms Store Team Leader Ryan Heater was passing out samples to customers Friday afternoon and said he was grateful that he and his staff had Thanksgiving off because he ended up shopping at the Walmart and other stores in Newcastle.
“I enjoyed the day off yesterday,” Heater said.
“So far, we (Hickory Farms) are doing pretty good, and looking at our numbers, we've had about 1,300 transactions. We are where we want to be, and we're all about giving samples of the product that sells itself.”
During Black Friday's early afternoon hours at Quail Springs Mall, people often stood in lines to buy lunch or a snack. The food court was packed with families.
Not far away, Edmond father and son, Jeff and Zach Lampe, were taking it easy, although Jeff Lampe admitted he'd shopped earlier at the “very busy” Walmart and Target in Edmond and at Office Depot, where only about 10 to 15 people were in line before the store opened Friday.
“We slept in a bit this morning and didn't get out too early,” Jeff Lampe said, “but I was surprised by the light line at Office Depot. I'm not looking for a whole lot today.”