Two Denton, Texas high school seniors spent their first Black Friday shopping experience avoiding lines and grabbing deals.
Ryan High School students Katie Burks and Heath Fowler said they have skipped Black Friday shopping in years past because of the horror stories they’ve heard.
“When I’m around a lot of people, I tend to get nervous, so the idea of being around hundreds of competitive shoppers is really intimidating,” Fowler said.
Despite the stress, the pair decided to brave the crowds in order to grab the best deals, Burks said.
“I’d really like to find some discounted winter clothes, some jeans or boots,” Burks said.
“I'm a little nervous about all the intrusive crowds and masses of shoppers. I'm not going to get in someone's face over a shirt or something, so I'll be a little rattled if someone gets in mine.”
Deals on movies and CDs were attractive, but store promotions were the most intriguing part of the shopping spree, Fowler said.
“I really want to check out Bath and Body Works, just because I heard they give out free apple cider,” he said.
The pair shopped at Golden Triangle Mall, stopping in Bath and Body Works, Spencer’s, American Eagle Outfitters, J.C. Penney’s and PacSun, according to Burks.
The sale prices were impressive, Fowler said.
“The best part of the day was the experience of snagging items I had wanted to buy earlier in the year for a great deal less,” he said.
“American Eagle’s storewide sale of 40 percent off really surprised me, and I was really impressed with the sales I ended up taking advantage of.”
Burks said the number of people shopping surprised her.
“The lines weren’t that bad,” she said.
“It really wasn’t as crazy as I’d expected. It seemed like a fairly typical shopping experience with a more focused intent on savings.”
Black Friday retail sales climbed 6.6 percent this year, according to ShopperTrak. Fowler said he felt the effects of more shoppers.
“Bath and Body Works was crazy, and I definitely stepped on a few unhappy individuals,” Fowler said.
The pair suffered from sleep deprivation, Burks said.
“The worst part was the exhaustion while shopping,” she said.
“Because of the competing stores and prices, you had a lot in mind while shopping, which ultimately took the leisure out of the entire experience. Shopping isn’t near as fun without its therapeutic aspect.”
Fowler said he thinks sleep is an important part of Black Friday.
“I found that people tended to be in an overall negative mood,” Fowler said.
“When people are deprived of sleep and running only on abnormal amounts
of caffeine, I guess that is to be expected.”
Despite these negative experiences, Burks and Fowler said they plan to shop on Black Friday next year.
“I’m pretty sure I will be out there now that I know how awesome sales can be, but I’ll definitely have a game plan next time,” Fowler said.
“I think it would be helpful to research some of the bargains and get an idea of what to be looking for.”
“I saved money without spending extravagant amounts of money, so I’m
definitely pleased with the turnout,” Burks said.
“I just might have added a new tradition to my typical Thanksgiving repertoire.”