Black Friday crept into Thanksgiving this year, with Kmart in Burbank opening its doors early Thursday morning, drawing hundreds of bargain hunters looking to snag a television, Android tablet or other discounted items.
For Samantha McClour, Thanksgiving was the only time to shop because she was scheduled to work every other day of the week as well as the weekend.
And since the crowds weren’t overwhelming at Kmart, shopping on Thanksgiving was a pleasant experience for many.
“I hate Black Friday because there are so many people,” said Amy Reithmiller, who stopped by Kmart after participating in the Turkey Trot at the Burbank YMCA. “Here, was chill.”
Others hoped retailers didn’t make a habit of opening on the holiday.
“I heard they were open and I thought what a bunch of jerks,” said shopper and Burbank resident Andy Batwinas.
But when he needed to pick up items he needed to host Thanksgiving dinner, he was pleased.
“The retail sentiment is absolutely killing the holiday, but what am I going to do? I needed place mats,” Batwinas said.
Burbank resident Paul Schroeder made off with a discounted foosball table he plans to give to his sons for Christmas. “The price was perfect,” he said, adding that he only waited a couple minutes in line.
On Thursday evening, hundreds lined up outside retailers such as GameStop and Old Navy at the Burbank Town Center. Within an hour of opening at midnight, GameStop sold out of PlayStation 4 consoles, store employees said.
By mid-morning on Friday, foot traffic at the Burbank mall appeared to have slowed down. That’s one of the reasons why Glendale resident Aimee Anaya chose to shop there. “On any weekend, (Glendale) is pretty terrible, crowdwise,” she said.
At Urban Outfitters at the Americana at Brand, customers had lined up as early as 9:30 p.m. Thursday for their shot at half-priced merchandise. The store opened at midnight.
For Andrew Herce, shopping on Black Friday is a Thanksgiving tradition, even though he didn’t have plans to spend money.
“It feels really empty not to go out,” said the 19-year-old said, while waiting in line at Urban Outfitters with his cousin just before 1 a.m. “It's about tradition.”
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