Black Friday deals draw big crowds, long lines at Wichita stores

By: Jason Tarr Email
By: Jason Tarr Email
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WICHITA, Kan. -- Not long after finishing Thanksgiving dinner, Haysville's Landon Deidrich left to go camping -- in the west Wichita Guitar Center parking lot.

"I've been here since 7 p.m. (Thursday) sleeping in my car," Deidrich said early Friday morning. "Once everybody started showing up, I got out and got up here in line."

Deidrich began scouring the advertisements weeks ago and found something he wanted at just the right price on Black Friday.

"They have a digital USB turntable that I can plug into my computer and turn all my records into mp3s," Deidrich said. "The list price of the turntable is $300 and they have it at $50 today."

He says it's become a family tradition to go shopping on Black Friday and to prepare intensely for the experience.

"This is serious. I plan this out. I budget for it," Deidrich said.

Many Wichita-area shoppers did the same thing this Black Friday, giving local retailers something to be excited about.

While some local stores did appear to have smaller crowds on Black Friday, managers tell KAKE News that's because they opened earlier than ever this year. So, the crush of shoppers came Thursday night rather than Friday morning.

El Dorado's Kathy Clark and her family were among those who took advantage of the deals on both Thursday night and Friday morning.

Clark says they went to a few stores Thursday and then took a nap. They got up early Friday morning so they could be at Menards when the store opened at 6 a.m.

"We love to come out early! We saw a couple things so we decided to head over," Clark said.

For her family, like Deidrich's family, shopping after Thanksgiving has also become a tradition. That includes the clothes they wear while they shop.

"We usually have matching shirts!" Clark said. "We've probably done this for about 12 years now."

Given how many stores they were hitting Thursday and Friday, the ladies say they had to put their experience and strategy to work.

"It's divide and conquer!" Clark said. "You have to go to different places to get different things."

And at Menards, Clark had one thing in mind in particular.

"The hot dog warmer! Everybody needs a hot dog cooker!" Clark said. "It cooks 12 hot dogs and warms the buns in 12 seconds!"

Clark said Menards wasn't the family's last stop.

She like so many other shoppers who talked to KAKE News said they planned on visiting about a half dozen stores and spending money at each one.

That's music to retailers' ears.

"We're going to at least four more," Clark said. "It's fun!"

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