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Posted on Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 2:27 p.m.

Ann Arbor's 2011 Ultimate Black Friday Shopping Expedition: Get ready for a long night

By Nathan Bomey

(See previous story: Black Friday store hours guide: Ann Arbor area big box stores to begin rolling out deals Thanksgiving night)

Black Friday divides America into two camps: deal shoppers and deal mockers.

If you’re in the second camp, shield your eyes. I’m about to spell out Ann Arbor’s 2011 Ultimate Black Friday Shopping Expedition.


Shoppers gather at 3:45 a.m. on Black Friday 2010 awaiting for Target to open.

Nathan Bomey |

Follow this shopping guide step by step, and you’ll surely be filled with holiday cheer.

Just don’t forget to pack a turkey sandwich. It’s going to be a long night.

8:45 p.m. Thanksgiving: Start the night off right by heading to Arborland Center’s Toys “R” Us, which opens at 9 p.m. Spend a few minutes in the doll aisle debating with fellow shoppers whether the "Play and Giggle" triplets are cursing.

The talking dolls, which are exclusive to Toys "R" Us, have sparked a controversy because some people believe one of the phrases they utter is, “OK, crazy b****.”

9:45 p.m.: Disturbed by the cursing dolls, decide you’re boycotting Toys “R” Us and heading to the Walmart superstore on Ellsworth Road in Ypsilanti Township to get in line for deals that start at 10 p.m.

Ponder whether to purchase the 15.6-inch Compaq Presario dual-core laptop with 1-gigahertz processor, 2 gigabytes of memory and 250-gigabyte hard drive for $198. Briefly wonder how the Compaq brand still exists.

11 p.m.: Make your way to the Best Buy on Lohr Road in Pittsfield Township to get in line for the store’s opening at midnight. Hope to grab a “ticket” that gives you the right to purchase the 42-inch SHARP LCD 1080p HDTV for $199.

Chat with shoppers who look like they’ve been camping out in line for hours. Consider asking why they didn’t just work some extra hours and pay for a full-priced TV.

11:35 p.m.: Maintain your resolve when a Best Buy manager informs you that, unfortunately, you needed to get in line last March to get the 42-inch TV.

11:55 p.m.: Arrive at Target and marvel at the line of shoppers waiting to get into the store. Don’t videotape yourself walking the length of the line.

Midnight: Rush into Target, trampling shoppers in search of $3.99 DVDs.

12:05 a.m. Friday: Disgusted by the poor selection, pull out your iPhone and sign the petition protesting Target’s decision to open at midnight, which set off a chain reaction of other stores doing the same.

1 a.m.: Armed with a coupon from's Thursday print edition for $10 off a $25 purchase, head to Briarwood Mall's Macy's store, which opens at midnight. Remembering that this is the time of night when you usually brush your teeth, bust out the coupon and snag the $99.99 Sonicare toothbrush, which is on sale for $34.99.

1:15 a.m.: Search the mall for toothpaste.

1:30 a.m. Stop in your tracks at Abercrombie & Fitch, which plans to have shirtless male models stationed outside its doors. Wonder how they burned off their Thanksgiving dinners so fast.

1:45 a.m.: Stroll over to the Champs Sports store to see if they have any Air Jordan III Black/Cement shoes left.

2 a.m.: Spurned at Champs, decide to wash your sorrows away with a cinnamon sugar pretzel at Auntie Anne’s.

2:15 a.m.: Feeling like you need to be pampered, go splurge at Bath & Body Works for lotions and bubble bath you’ll never actually use.

3 a.m.: Experiencing buyer’s remorse for the first time all night, find a comfy chair at the mall and ponder whether perhaps you should be giving thanks instead of indulging your desires for more deals.

3:15 a.m.: Shrug off your conscience and drive to Kohl’s.

3:30 a.m: Deciding you need some bling, purchase the $1,600, three-carat T.W. diamond bracelet at Kohl's for $249.99.

3:50 a.m.: Head to Meijer, which opens at 4 a.m. Feeling nostalgic, purchase the $15 Lego City Mobile Police Unit set for $4.99.

4:30 a.m.: Waltz over to the new Dick’s Sporting Goods store on Lohr Road. Waiting for the store to open at 5 a.m., assemble your Lego set on the sidewalk.

5:55 a.m.: Head back to Macy’s and try to score free McDonald’s gift cards, which will be handed out at 6 a.m.

5:57 a.m.: Curse the ghost of Ray Kroc when you come away empty-handed.

6:15 a.m.: Head to McDonald’s anyway.

7:38 a.m.: Watch the sunrise and briefly forget what day it is.

7:40 a.m. Collect yourself, head to ABC Warehouse on Eisenhower Parkway and marvel at the sight of a department store that bucked the trend and decided not to open until 8 a.m.

9:45 a.m.: Find your way to Puffer Red’s in Ypsilanti to see how long the line is to get the new Air Jordan shoe at 10 a.m.

10:15 a.m.: Feeling guilty for shopping at major national retailers, decide to shop local tomorrow as part of Small Business Saturday.

Contact's Nathan Bomey at (734) 623-2587 or You can also follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's newsletters.



Thu, Nov 24, 2011 : 1:59 p.m.

My ultimate Black Friday expedition: -Get up around 9:00 -Make coffee -Take coffee to computer -Drink coffee while I shop at Amazon


Thu, Nov 24, 2011 : 1:22 p.m.

Thanks for the great article! Shirtless male models outside Abercrombie? How funny....

Peter Jameson

Thu, Nov 24, 2011 : 8:25 a.m.

tar-gey is where the hot deals be at


Thu, Nov 24, 2011 : 4:54 a.m.

So funny, Nathan. Thank you for the good laugh. Now, I hope you'll do one for Small Business Saturday and cover some of Ann Arbor and Ypsi's locally owned shops.

Marie Willnow

Thu, Nov 24, 2011 : 2:45 a.m.

What a great article!!

Urban Sombrero

Thu, Nov 24, 2011 : 12:04 a.m.

Excellent article. You made me smile. My mother (aka, Shopaholic) and two oldest kids are going out to do all this. I, however, plan to be snuggled in bed, sleeping soundly.


Thu, Nov 24, 2011 : 12:03 a.m.

Yes, I noticed that error, too. Meijer only closes at 7 pm Christmas Eve and reopens 6 am on December 26. Otherwise, they never close. Walmart on Ellsworth is not a Super Store. I liked the spirit of the article. Black Friday is really getting over the top. There should be a few days a year, at least, for families to relax together. When stores open the in the evening on Thanksgiving, to be open all night, it seems like the employees have to rest up during the day, and it would put a big damper on the celebrations.


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 11:55 p.m.

Ah, there's the Bomey wit I know and love, if a little more cynical than years past. Nice work.


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 11:31 p.m.

Might want to call Meijer. I heard they are not closing at all. As for toothpaste? Briarwood use to have a CVS until they closed down years ago. As for the male eye candy? They avoid the turkey and all the trimmings. They would need to work out like the people on biggest looser. Even they can't eat a normal turkey meal. Good luck, I will dream of all of you while I slumber cozily.


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 11:23 p.m.

Here is my scenario. Replay our childs play done up by 826 Michigan last week, which I applaud Dave Eggars for a beautiful nite. Then after 15 minutes of that? Snuggle up and watch the new adventure of Pirates of the Caribbean and laugh at the ones who are freezing out there trying to get the best deal. Sorry, I don't like being cold and I don't need anything this year. We are all done. Thank you for a great article. Good chuckle.


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 11:06 p.m.

Or celebrate the 20th anniversary of Buy Nothing Day!


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 11:25 p.m.

On Saturday is National Buy Local Day. I heard this on the radio the other day. Shop local and save the economy. Anyone up for Turkeyville?


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 11:05 p.m.

This: Chat with shoppers who look like they've been camping out in line for hours. Consider asking why they didn't just work some extra hours and pay for a full-priced TV. Love it.


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 11:26 p.m.

A few years back we expected to pay full price for a small television. Ended up getting a 24 inch for the same price. We did not wait in line. Got there right right around 8:30.

Homeland Conspiracy

Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 9:32 p.m.

Shut Up & Buy


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 8:21 p.m.

Hilarious! I love it!