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Department stores open early for Black Friday

While most stores were closed on Thanksgiving, others were getting a head start on Black Friday.

By 3 p.m. on Thursday afternoon, hundreds of people were lined out the doors of JCPenney's at the Apache mall. Once the doors opened, everyone began rushing into the store. Displays with markdowns like 50 to 70 percent off were marked on top of sweaters, dresses, and household appliances.

As the shoppers filed through the door, employees were handing out coupons with various deals. While JCPenney's was the only part of Apache Mall that was open, the rest of the mall would be open by 6 p.m.

While shoppers walked around the store pulling clothes off racks — some were stacked in piles — other people were grabbing appliances and headed directly to the registers where a decent line had already formed.

Although it was Thanksgiving, many had different reasons for shopping during the early Black Friday sale. Dodge Center residents Serena and Jenna Jensen both came together for a shopping day because their mother had to work on Thanksgiving. The goal: purchasing winter coats and other clothing for at least 50 percent off.


"We're celebrating tomorrow," Serena, 18, said. "So, we're here to enjoy some shopping ... we don't normally go out on Thanksgiving, but this year we decided to celebrate tomorrow."

This was Jenna's — a 14-year-old — first Black Friday shopping experience, and she was mostly surprised by the number of people who were prepared to come into the department store right at its opening.

"I'm super shocked," she said.

"I'm surprised that we could even get in through the door," Serena responded.

Others wanted to get a jump on holiday shopping. Rochester resident Everlyne Mogaka was going to be partaking in her own Thanksgiving dinner later that night, but she decided to stop by and pick up some extra gifts for her loved ones.

"There's a lot people here right now," Mogaka said. "I'm like, 'why?'"

Mogaka was picking up some extra sweaters and dresses for herself, noting that many of the normally higher-end clothes were very expensive and Black Friday was usually the time to get things people might not usually be able to afford.

"JCPenney's is my favorite store," she said. "This is the chance to shop."

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