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Local shoppers hit the stores on Black Friday

Posted: November 23, 2012 8:44 a.m.
Updated: November 23, 2012 8:44 a.m.

Shoppers at Westfield Valencia Town Center today.

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Long lines and chilly weather did little to dampen the enthusiasm of local shoppers as stores opened their doors for Black Friday sales.

Karen Mapes was one of about 80 people lined up for the 6 a.m. opening of the J.C. Penney store in the Westfield Valencia Town Center.

But this was not Mapes’ first shopping stop. By 6 a.m. she had already been to Wal-Mart, Target and Kohl’s, and was planning on making other trips later.

“My husband has called me four times today to ask, ‘How much have you spent?’” she said.
Mapes was not alone in making her Black Friday more a merchandising marathon as opposed to a shopping sprint.
Mike Casteel, coffee cup firmly in hand, said he had already been shopping for several hours as of 6:30 a.m.
“Hopefully I’ll get done by today,” he said while looking at merchandise at the Macy’s in the Westfield Valencia Town Center.  

Casteel said shopping on Black Friday was something of a tradition for his family and that he, his wife and two teenage children used a “divide and conquer” strategy to hit as many stores as possible.

“Every year we’re out here,” he said of his family. “We’re wherever there’s a good deal or bargain.”

Another long-time shopper was Anna Flores, who said the Target on Magic Mountain Parkway was the sixth or seventh store she had visited since midnight.

“It can all be pretty addicting,” she said after loading an air mattress into her cart.

As many as 147 million people are expected to go shopping at some point on Black Friday, according to the National Retail Federation.

Flores said this is the third year she has shopped on Black Friday, but, with stores opening earlier than ever, this year’s preparations had begun to creep into her family time a little bit. “It wasn’t pretty,” she said, laughing. “That didn’t stop me, but it wasn’t pretty.”

Some shoppers also expressed disappointment that some of this year’s Black Friday sales actually began Thursday.

Flores said she could remember people being outraged when the restaurant she worked at as a teenager had decided to remain open on Thanksgiving.

“We had people say, ‘How dare you be open on Thanksgiving?’ and now it’s the norm,” she said. “Everyone is just so convenience-oriented that it’s disappointing sometimes.”

Casteel echoed the sentiment.

“Thanksgiving is for spending time with your family,” he said. “Friday can be for shopping for your family.”


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