Buying up Black Friday

STATE COLLEGE — Televisions, DVDs and GPS devices flew from store shelves Friday morning as shoppers rushed to area stores to take advantage of Black Friday sales.

Retail employees said it was a controlled, if not subdued Black Friday compared to last year, when newly released Nintendo Wii game systems and Guitar Hero games were the “it” gift.

The day started early. At 3:30 a.m. the doors opened at JCPenney, allowing the first shoppers of the day inside, where they were greeted by sales associates handing out snow globes.

Among the first shoppers in line outside JCPenney were Drew Wetzel and Sean Stephens, who said they had not slept since Wednesday night.

“We had a couple of energy drinks and just kept going,” Stephens said.

The two said they did not know exactly what they were looking for, but would likely buy some clothes while they were at the store.

In line behind the two young men, Molli Funk was checking her list before her first stop of the day. “I’m usually home by noon,” said the Bellefonte mom.

Funk said she liked to get started early, so that once her shopping is out of the way she can watch her children while her husband shops.

Across town at Circuit City and Kohl’s, lines awaited the opening of each store.

At 4 a.m. the line at Kohl’s stretched along the front of the store. GPS devices were the big draw, with many customers asking where to find them as they walked into the store.

Alicia Musheno, of State College was not looking for a GPS unit though. Instead she waited in the near-freezing temperatures for “Barbies, just Barbies.”

Like many of the shoppers out Friday morning Musheno had her list ready and her stops after Kohl’s planned in advance.

While Musheno and her fellow shoppers waited outside, inside Kohl’s the store manager was on the intercom system, alerting the sales associates the doors were about to open and let in the rush of early bird shoppers.

Around the soon to be busy checkouts, the clerks chattered excitedly as they began their longest day of the year.

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