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Shoppers are out in force early, searching for good deals

Strategic shoppers plot for Black Friday
Hundreds of people line up around the Best Buy south store in Rochester in 2011 as they await the store's midnight opening for Black Friday specials.

Much was made about the midnight opening for many stores on Black Friday today, and shoppers responded.

Here's a sampling of some of the sights and sounds of the shopping adventure:

• IBMer Casey Massett said she shopped from midnight to 4:30 a.m. She'd been to Maurices, Bath and Body Works, Aeropostale, JC Penney and Sears. Like many shoppers, she store-hopped from one early opening to another.

• Shoppers were out in droves. Sears had a line of about 500 people when it opened at 4 a.m. 

"Ah, there is an end," the store manager at the door said when the last shopper entered (and a couple of stragglers trotted in).


• Megan Means and her mother, Trisha Means, of Rochester, wore matching red Santa hats.

"I can pick her out right away," said Megan. In past years, she's struggled to find her mom when they got separated.

"It was a nice night. It didn't snow or rain," Trisha said. That meant sizable crowds.

• Shoppers at Apache Mall could be seen carrying large bags, big-screen TVs and microwaves.

• Dolly Van Der Weerd, of Rock Rapids, Iowa, and her daughters, Lanae and April McBroom, of Chatfield, arrived wrapped in blankets. Van Der Weerd started shopping at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, and her daughters got to Rochester to start shopping at 8:30 p.m.

The daughters had been to Toys R Us. 

"We got the last items of everything that we wanted," said April McBroom. Except one. "We didn't get a (toy) tool bench," she said.

The daughters looked back on their Walmart experience with mixed feelings. It was mostly fun to observe, they said. But some shoppers tore into plastic-wrapped palettes to get at merchandise before the Black Friday sale time officially started.


"It just was chaos, really," April McBroom said.

• Amanda Chinn, her husband, James Krause, and her mother, Lori Chinn, were first in line at one end of Fleet Farm.

"My son likes tractors," Amanda Chinn said, so that was the main reason they arrived early. When done at Fleet Farm, "I'm going to eat some breakfast and then we're going to some more stores," Amanda Chinn said. 

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