LAKE JACKSON — As soon as the doors opened, hundreds of Black Friday shoppers swarmed stores Thursday evening looking for a bargain. For many local stores, it is one of the busiest shopping days of the year.
In order to snag a good deal on items, some shoppers will wait in line outside a store in order to be the through the door.
“I got in line around 6 a.m. in the morning,” said Samuel Smith, who was waiting outside Best Buy in Lake Jackson. “It’s worth it to me. I’m getting a TV.”
He said shopping here in Brazoria County was a much more convenient option than driving to nearby cities.
“Black Friday is good to buy certain items,” Smith said. “Lake Jackson is a good area to shop in; if you go to Houston then you have longer lines, and you have to deal with a lot more people.”
Electronics including televisions, smart watches and tablets are among the hot-ticket items shoppers have flocked to stores for in recent years on Black Friday.
“I’ve been waiting in line every year for 20 years, mostly at Best Buy,” Robert Adkins said. “We’re here looking at computers, TVs, gaming consoles ... stuff that you can catch fairly cheap now.”
But not all shoppers are searching out of self-interest. Many are looking to knock out some early Christmas shopping.
“We got a lot of shopping done,” Amber Newell said. “We were first in line at Target (in Lake Jackson). We saved a little more than half of what we spent, it’s a good way to get a lot of Christmas shopping done at one time.”
For the Newells, going Black Friday shopping is part of a tradition.
“We spent the morning serving at the Super Feast in Freeport; after that, we leave and sit in line at Target,” Newell said.
Although electronics are prominent items for buyers, some people buy household or kitchen items.
“For the last five years we’ve been going to Walmart,” Jessica Spencer said. “I look for deals on TVs, towels, sheets, pillows. ... Today I’m getting towels.”
But sometimes those items bring in big crowds, which she said can be a downside.
“The crowds would keep me from coming,” Spencer said. “Sometimes people can be rude and irate and you have to deal with that.”
Lake Jackson police officer Rachel Pierce said the lines do sometimes bring risks.
“Crowds can be dangerous, people fighting over hot items that are at a discount,” Pierce said. “I once saw a guy punch a lady in the face for the last Xbox. I have broken up many fights.”
Black Friday shopper Holly Eudy said it’s important that people pay attention to their surroundings when they venture out in search of a great deal.
“I’ve been shopping since they started doing it at 3 or 4 a.m. in the morning, before it was on Thanksgiving Day,” Eudy said. “It can be dangerous, but I think you have to be careful wherever you’re at, keep your eye on what’s going on around you.