Business

Black Friday shoppers use strategy, creativity for success

Customers with tickets for the 5 a.m. doorbuster deals entered Best Buy on Nicholasville Road on Friday, closely watched by local cameramen, at right. The most in-demand item seemed to be a laptop for $189.
Customers with tickets for the 5 a.m. doorbuster deals entered Best Buy on Nicholasville Road on Friday, closely watched by local cameramen, at right. The most in-demand item seemed to be a laptop for $189. Pablo Alcala | Staff

Persistence and ingenuity seemed to be the keys to successful Black Friday shopping in Lexington.

Dorothy Lee of Nicholasville and two friends went to Wal-Mart at 11 p.m. Thursday, couldn't find anything they wanted, and drove to Target off Nicholasville Road about 2 a.m. Friday. Their shopping carts soon carried some 300-thread-count sheets, a fleece pullover, a George Foreman grill and a $67 Wii Fit.

"We failed at Wal-Mart; then we came here," Lee said. From Target, Lee and one friend planned to hit Shoe Carnival and Kmart, while the other friend had to head to work.

"I've got a scout who's already at Kmart, so hopefully that will work," Lee said.

Denise Frazier and Gwendolyn Alcorn, both of Lexington, had to switch Wal-Marts to get the 32-inch Emerson LCD televisions they wanted. The two showed up at the New Circle Road Wal-Mart at North Park to obtain wristbands, which were to be passed out at 2 a.m.

But they learned that the store had received only 36 of the TVs. Knowing they wouldn't get one of those, Frazier and Alcorn rushed to the Hamburg Wal-Mart, which had received about 165 sets. Wearing wristbands, Alcorn and Frazier each happily grabbed a TV at 5 a.m.

Alcorn calls herself a "professional Black Friday shopper." Frazier has ventured out before, and she said the experience, including this year's, is sometimes a headache.

"We had to stand in line for an hour or so just to get the wristband," she said.

Justin Kimes and his wife, Cheyenne, arrived at the Hamburg Target soon after it opened at 4 a.m. to look for a pair of children's night-vision goggles.

But they decided the checkout line was too long to wait to buy the goggles, and devised an alternative strategy. They hid the goggles among the purses on display, then went to shop elsewhere.

When they returned, sure enough, the goggles were still safely concealed among the purses, while every other pair had sold out.

"You would never look for this in the purses," Justin Kimes said.

In the midst of all the buying, there was giving. Eight students from Lexington high schools sang Christmas carols at Dick's Sporting Goods in Fayette Mall. The Salvation Army Youth Band played near the Mountain of Love, the Salvation Army's effort to collect canned food and non-perishable items for needy people.

"Live music always brings in money," Salvation Army Maj. Steven Ashcraft said.

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