Shoppers endure long lines, lack of sleep for Black Friday deals
With brightly colored posters in the department stores' windows screaming "Half off! or "Triple Doorbusters," parking lots were filled on Black Friday.
Described as a cultural phenomenon and one of the biggest shopping days of the year, Black Friday for many Lee County residents began shortly after Thanksgiving dinner.
It's an annual tradition to go Black Friday shopping, said Stephanie Spell, who was at Belk with her mother, Lynn Abshire, shortly before noon Friday.
"We went shopping last night, got a few hours of sleep and then back for the doorbusters," Spell said.
The mother-daughter pair has been shopping on Black Friday for a number of years to take advantage of the sales, Abshire said.
"It gets you in the holiday spirit," she said.
Dewey Tuggle Jr. was buying a number of remote-controlled toys for his great-grandson and a couple of boys in his church, he said.
"I want them to be blessed," he said. "I don't typically shop on Black Friday but saw the store had the [toys] I was looking for."
Brian Murphy was selling Organo Gold coffee outside of Kmart midday Friday, and he's seen lots of people shopping in and around the area.
"The economy is getting a shot in the arm today," he said.
Inside Kmart, Kristina Childress and her two daughters, 1-year-old Aubrey and 4-year-old Madison, were looking for toys and clothes.
"I was out at Kmart and Walmart last night," Childress said. "It wasn't as bad as it has been."
Allen Chan, originally from Cleveland, Ohio, was one of the first three people in line for GameStop to open at midnight Friday, and said he'd been waiting since 5 p.m.
"I'm here for the newest gaming system," he said. "I want to get a PS4."
Microsoft's Xbox One and Sony's PlayStation 4 were both in stock, albeit momentarily, when the GameStop doors opened.
Lillington resident Raymond Wood said he hadn't intended to go shopping at midnight on Black Friday, but he saw the line forming at GameStop and wanted to take the opportunity to purchase a couple of games.
At nearby Walmart, the crowds had mostly died down by 1 a.m., but some shoppers said they'd waited in checkout lines for hours to purchase their doorbuster items earlier in the evening.
Beverly Gunter was perusing the toy aisles and said she typically shops up in Cary during Black Friday. But this year, she didn't want to fight the crowds.
Lee County resident Delois Frazier was picking up a TV she had purchased in the Walmart electronics department when the sales began at 6 p.m. Thursday.
"I got in the checkout line at 6:30 p.m. and didn't get out until after 8 p.m.," she said, adding that it was her first Black Friday shopping experience.
"It was a nightmare," she said. "I think people who normally do were OK with it, but I thought it was a nightmare."