MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

November 27, 2009

Black Friday crowds hit stores

Deals draw shoppers in morning’s wee hours

By Cathy Spaulding

After spending at least five hours shopping with her mother Friday morning, 12-year-old Cheyenne Jones of Porum discovered one thing about finding the bargain she wants.

“You have to elbow in before it’s gone,” she said as she waited with her brothers to get a picture with Santa Claus at Arrowhead Mall, shortly after 11 a.m. Friday.

Cheyenne was among thousands of area shoppers who rose early Friday morning to find top deals at Muskogee stores.

Sears and JCPenney were the first to greet shoppers, opening at 4 a.m. Sharon Scott of Checotah said her two sons didn’t mind getting up early enough to make it to Sears by 4. Dylon Scott, 11, and Gavin Scott, 7, both nodded when asked if their mother was correct.

“Scott said her sons get up that early to go deer hunting. The family, which included papa Will Scott, spent Friday morning hunting for bargains on a microwave oven, Craftsman Tools and a Kitchen Aid mixer.

Cookware went fast across Arrowhead Mall at JCPenney, said the company’s Division 8 supervisor Chasity Young, who worked in women’s wear at the Muskogee store.

“We made $2,000 over our goal for the day,” Young said. “Things under $10 went fast. A lot of people went to cookware, a lot went to bedding.”

Clothing also sold well, she said.

Shortly before 6 a.m., cars had to look for parking spaces at the lots for Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse and Staples office supply. At Staples, shoppers were served Krispy Kreme donuts and coffee to ward off the mild morning chill. Workers handed out red tickets to buyers wanting certain items.

“They’d come in to prepay and go to the staging area to get their items,” manager Ron Graves said. “That way, there was no hustle-bustle.”

Staples employees hustled though. In the computer area, worker Wesley Brown looked like he was working baggage claim at O’Hare Airport, moving laptop computer cases from shelves as fast as he could.

“He went home for a while, then came back,” Graves said. “He was a real trooper.”

Graves said laptop computers were the among the fastest items to go. Portable global positioning devices also went fast.

“Garmins flew out the door,” he said.

Electronics also sold fast at Walmart. Manager Mike Ebert reported a full, busy day.

“There were a lot of people in here, early,” Ebert said. “Most all of the electronics went real fast, laptop computers, flat screen TVs, gaming systems, they went the quickest.”

Brenda Jones of Porum said she got Cheyenne out early.

“I’m training her in shopping,” Jones said, adding that Cheyenne’s siblings got to sleep in that morning.

Around 11 a.m., however, Jones got Cheyenne and four brothers together for a picture with Santa.

Jones, a foster parent, said she adopted four of the five kids and is finalizing papers on the fifth adoption.

“This is sort of a celebration of that final adoption,” she said.

Jones said she relies on these black Friday sales to help her afford to buy for her large family.

“I have 12 kids altogether,” she said, adding that several now are grown. Three are foster children.

Reach Cathy Spaulding at 684-2928 or cspaulding@muskogeephoenix.com.