Findlay shoppers scoop up Black Friday bargains

CAROLYN PEEPELS, left, Mary Johnson and Robin Butler, all of Bellefontaine, head to their vehicle Friday after shopping at the Menards home improvement store in Findlay during the Black Friday frenzy. Menards was not open on Thanksgiving; its doors opened at 6 a.m. Friday. (Photo by Matthias Leguire)

CAROLYN PEEPELS, left, Mary Johnson and Robin Butler, all of Bellefontaine, head to their vehicle Friday after shopping at the Menards home improvement store in Findlay during the Black Friday frenzy. Menards was not open on Thanksgiving; its doors opened at 6 a.m. Friday. (Photo by Matthias Leguire)

By MAX FILBY
STAFF WRITER
Aric Avery said he hated it, but he did it anyway.
“I’m not a fan of the lines,” Avery said. “It’s been pretty lame and boring.”
Avery, 17, of Van Buren, went on his first early morning Black Friday shopping spree and after buying a new TV and making trips to Best Buy and Wal-Mart, he had just one stop to go.
Avery waited for the GameStop store at Findlay Village Mall to open so he could get some deals on a few games, such as soccer video game FIFA 2016.
Avery was playing an Xbox game with some of his friends outside the store at about 3:30 a.m. Friday, even though GameStop didn’t open until 5 a.m.
“I’ve been up all night and the only reason I’m playing this is so I stay awake,” Avery said.
The mall appeared to have more customers than it did in 2014 during its early Black Friday hours. Not many people walked its wings last year, but this year dozens of high-schoolers and youths, like Avery, were shopping there after the mall doors opened at 3 a.m.
GameStop was one of a few stores at the mall that had waiting lines Friday morning, but that may be because some of the mall’s anchor stores, such as JCPenney and Elder-Beerman, had been open for hours already. JCPenney opened at 3 p.m. on Thanksgiving and Elder-Beerman opened at 5 p.m.
Cars were relatively sparse early Friday morning in the parking lots of big-box stores such as Wal-Mart, which had started its Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving.
Other stores chose to remain closed on Thanksgiving and stuck to Friday “door-buster” deals.
T.J.Maxx didn’t open until Friday and neither did Menards. People started lining up outside Menards in Findlay around 4 a.m. Friday to get into the store right away when it opened at 6 a.m.
ABC Warehouse on Tiffin Avenue in Findlay took a different approach and opened for five hours on Thanksgiving evening, and then closed and opened again at 7 a.m. Friday.
The strategy may have paid off as the local ABC Warehouse was the top-selling Ohio store in the chain overnight. General Manager Robert Riedel credited a $199 50-inch TV for most of the immediate traffic on Thanksgiving. He said he expected steady traffic throughout Friday, too.
“We had people lined up two or three hours before we opened (Thursday) and we closed at 10, but we were still busy through 11,” Riedel said.
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