Herald-Leader 'hero' conquers Black Friday at Fayette Mall

Herald-Leader business writerNovember 23, 2012 

Well, fellow Black Friday shopping heroes, I was ahead of my time.

Last year, I calculated a plan so brilliant that it rivaled the Grinch's wickedly devious attempts to rob Whoville of its Christmas celebration.

At that time, major retailers backed off their traditional 4 or 5 a.m. start times and offered doorbusters around midnight. I figured I would bridge the gap between us heroes and venture out at 3 a.m. to pick up my standard armload of DVDs.

That way, the door-busting heroes would be long gone. I was wrong. The lines remained crazy last year.

But this year, it worked.

With doorbusters starting even earlier — 8 and 10 p.m. at Wal-Mart and 9 p.m. at Target, for instance — many heroes had fallen (asleep) by my 4 a.m. excursion.

I stood behind just one person in line at Sears to score the request from my sister that came at 10:30 p.m. Thursday for an 11-drawer tool chest.

That last request meant I broke my own rule of never entering a store whose layout is unfamiliar. Let this be a reminder, heroes, to memorize your layouts in advance. They may be several feet tall, but those tool chests were hidden quite well.

And while that tip of old may be timeless, the past two years have taught me the times are changing. I found another perfect example of that at roughly 4:30 a.m. inside Fayette Mall's Boardwalk Treats.

Tina Howard of Frankfort and her 17-year-old daughter, Kara, annually venture out with their family and traditionally kick off the festivities with an early meal at IHOP.

But with Macy's opening at midnight this year, the IHOP tradition took a pass in favor of a pair of boots pined for by Kara.

On the menu instead was Kara's 4:30 a.m. snack of chocolate Dippin' Dots ice cream.

The pair lamented their missed IHOP breakfast but were upbeat about purchases from Banana Republic and The Limited.

And don't think for a second that Tina wasn't going for a sugar rush, too, to keep her flagging energy up.

"I'm headed for the coffee," she said, noting she had been up since 5:30 a.m. Thursday.

That's a heroic effort for sure.

Reach Scott Sloan at (859) 231-1447 or ssloan@herald-leader.com. Twitter: @HeraldLeaderBiz

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