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Posted on Fri, Nov 23, 2012 : 6:13 a.m.

Black Friday: First-in-line shoppers race into Ann Arbor area Target store

By Lizzy Alfs


Ann Arbor resident Amanda Adams uses two carts in the check out line at Target on Thursday.

Daniel Brenner |

What began as an unusually warm November day turned into a cold and rainy night as hundreds of Black Friday shoppers stood in line Thursday waiting for an Ann Arbor area Target store to open.

By 8:45 p.m., 15 minutes before the store off Ann Arbor-Saline Road opened, hundreds of shoppers stood in a line that stretched halfway down the shopping center.

“This is the best night of the year,” said Janice Roberts, an avid Black Friday shopper who was one of the first people in line at Pittsfield Township Target. She arrived at 5 p.m., just after she drove by Sears to check out the scene.

“If you’re the first in line, it’s going to be the best deal,” she explained, “but if you’re 40 people back, forget it.”

When the doors opened at 9 p.m., security ushered shoppers inside the store while Target employees told people no running was allowed.

But because the Black Friday deals at Target are on a first-come-first-serve basis, 12-year-old Saline resident Ryan Estrada said he was booking it to get a TV and Nintendo 3DS.

“I’m the fastest person in my family, and last year, they wanted me to get a 46-inch TV for my dad, so right when the doors opened, I started running and my mom was like, ‘Go, Go, Go!’” he explained.

“Originally, she told me not to run. Either way, I was going to run.”

Estrada, who was one of the first people in line, walked out with his purchases at 9:12 p.m.

Cars continued to pour into the Target parking lot well after 9 p.m., while security guards and police patrolled. Employees handed out maps detailing the store’s best deals.

For Sarah Harris, Target is just one of her many stops on Black Friday. She estimated she would have 98 percent of her holiday shopping done by Friday.

“I’ve done Black Friday for 12 years,” Harris said. “I’m going to go to Walmart and Kmart after this, and I’ve already been to Meijer.”

Harris was planning to purchase a discounted iPod Touch for her son at Target. She’s also buying holiday presents for the family she’s “adopting” this year.

“I pick a family every year that’s less fortunate to shop for,” she said. “This year, I actually have two families. I really like it; I get a rush out of buying stuff and doing things for other people.”

Lizzy Alfs is a business reporter for Reach her at 734-623-2584 or email her at Follow her on Twitter at



Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 2:30 p.m.

DISGUSTING. target, you are now no better to me than wal-mart and I have crossed your threshold for the last time.


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 4:55 p.m.

I use Wal Mart for groceries. But did not shop on black Friday. I did talk to a employee who agreed with on Blue Law. She wishes she could strike without fear of retaliation on her part. So sad Wal Mart looses face value of what a true family get together really means.


Fri, Nov 23, 2012 : 11:55 p.m.

Although I would never shop on this day myself, I don't see the big harm (except for dragging the kids - yuck). I know lots of sisters who get together and have fun shopping, or groups of friends, or sons helping their moms. I do think opening on Thanksgiving is awful and that most of us buy way too much, but so what if it's on this day and not some other. The stores have always been open on the day after Thanksgiving, and lots of people are back to work on this day, not just folks working retail.


Fri, Nov 23, 2012 : 9:39 p.m.

Can we say Blue Law. I just saw those pictures and am so sorry for those children who are loosing out on a great and very important holiday. No wonder children don't know who their family is. Eat and shop. Sucks. Glad I shop on line.

Elaine F. Owsley

Fri, Nov 23, 2012 : 8:22 p.m.

This whole thing is just pitiful. People get time off to be with their families and they're spending hours standing out in the cold with a hundred or more other strangers just to spend money. Sad.

Honest Abe

Fri, Nov 23, 2012 : 6:22 p.m.

And one last thing. It's MERRY CHRISTMAS! Not 'Happy Holidays'. Sooo sick of people acting like it's a bad thing to say 'Merry Christmas!"


Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 2:51 a.m.

Oh, and I don'l believe in your Christian mumbo-jumbo, so, HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!!


Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 2:51 a.m.

At Abe, the only problem with saying Merry Xmas is that it is wrong. Your Christian holiday just happens to coincide with every other major religion's holiday as well. You think if Jesus really knew what he was doing, he would've been born at a different time to avoid so much confusion.


Fri, Nov 23, 2012 : 9:42 p.m.

I've never actually met someone offended by Merry Christmas. Saying Happy Holidays doesn't mean you are against Christmas, it just means you might also celebrate Thanksgiving and New Years in addition to Christmas, or you celebrate other winter holidays. Personally, I'm sick of people telling me what holiday greeting I can and can't make. If I say Happy Holidays to you, feel free to respond by wishing me a Merry Christmas, but don't get offended and tell me that I can only wish you well in a particular way.

Honest Abe

Fri, Nov 23, 2012 : 8:41 p.m.

Seldon, Black Friday is obviously no longer - Thanksgiving. It is the kickoff to Christmas. And, I'm just speaking in general.


Fri, Nov 23, 2012 : 7:36 p.m.

With Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Diwali (last week), Kwanzaa, New Years... I use Happy Holidays for the season in general. On Christmas Day, I use Merry Christmas.


Fri, Nov 23, 2012 : 7:26 p.m.

On Thanksgiving? Why would you say "Merry Christmas" on Thanksgiving?


Fri, Nov 23, 2012 : 5:44 p.m.

This actually seems to be consensus between many liberals and many conservatives on the insanity of Black Friday. Common ground at last!


Fri, Nov 23, 2012 : 7:25 p.m.

Too true!

Honest Abe

Fri, Nov 23, 2012 : 5:03 p.m.

So many people have forgotten the meaning of Christmas. This whole 'Black Friday' thing is beyond ridiculous. I wonder how many people are pushing themselves into debt or further debt? Another thing is a lot of folks are going out to get the big deals for themselves, not as gifts. Then you got these slogans such as 'door buster'! Are you serious??? When people lose their minds like they do on 'Black Friday', they can drive themselves into debt that's going to take a year or two to pay off, not to mention some will simply default on their credit cards and ruin themselves so they could get their stupid little Black Friday Special. If you actual KNEW who to shop and get great deals, you would realize that you never needed 'Black Friday' to receive such deal, heck, sometimes you think you're getting a deal and you're NOT! I was taught that you do not put yourself into debt to buy any type of present, for anyone! If you cannot pay cash/debit for it, you don't need it. I have credit cards too, but I also have cash set aside in advance, ready to pay that card off. But if the ONLY way I can buy something would depend on me using a credit card, I would simply wish people a Merry Christmas and enjoy time with family and friends and if I could maybe buy some sort of smaller present that is relatively inexpensive. In the past, a good day of Christmas shopping consisted of getting together with someone, visiting the stores, grabbing some lunch, shop a bit more and go home and realize we're blessed to do those things. Not go pound on the door to a store screaming 'let us in!!" and trampling one another so we can get a few peanuts off of a 42" flat screen that we do not need in the first place. Even thought I am 'comfortable' financially, I'm not going to 'go crazy' and join the club of folks out here who wish to take shopping to the extreme. ......and a little piece of money advice - Just because something is on sale, does not mean you need to buy it.


Fri, Nov 23, 2012 : 10:57 p.m.

Well said Abe, it is out of control. Don't forget what Christmas is all about.....


Fri, Nov 23, 2012 : 3:57 p.m.

-A lot of these companies have the same deals on their website on Thanksgiving day. So you can snag the "doorbuster" price while at home on the computer. I also can look up coupon codes for the website to piggyback on top of my purchases. Also, I have a credit card (that I don't keep a balance on) that if I go to the credit cards website they have a "rewards" page with a list of major retailers, if I click on a store using that link I will get 5% back on my purchases, the doorbuster price and often get a coupon code used I found and most then will deliver it for free or pick up for free at the store! So it's a trifecta plus one! Although I am methodical about my "Black Friday" purchases and I don't make many. This year I only made one, for myself, on Thanksgiving. while I appreciate that Target had security on hand the article also said Police. I don't like the fact that police were there unless Target had paid extra for that. I find it class less to drag your young kids to these events and then to have them do your shopping/snagging for you.


Fri, Nov 23, 2012 : 3:51 p.m. can you please stop putting black friday articles at the top of the home page. This American tradition is about as disgusting and pathetic as they come. Really quite depressing to think about. Having to leave your family and loved ones at, what, 6pm on THANKSGIVING to go open up a walmart, so that people can camp out and race in to buy chinese made crap? The woman in the main picture really needed TWO televisions for herself? Gross.


Fri, Nov 23, 2012 : 3:22 p.m.

You really have to give credit to the retail/credit/consumer establishment: There is a fairly well-accepted sense that there is some magical urgency to making purchases today, rather than on any other day. The appeal is based on exploiting two sides of the same coin: there is hope for gain as shoppers catch some "best deal", and on the other, there is the fear of loss if this opportunity is missed. "Go, Go, Go" is exactly the "rush" retailers hope consumers will feel, and shopping as a kind of quest or search for meaning becomes well-validated. I'm not saying that shopping is evil, but rather just that the whole Black Friday concept is a well-constructed scheme to cause individuals to act in ways that they might not otherwise, and that we might do well to step back for a moment and evaluate the value of those choices.

Billy Bob Schwartz

Fri, Nov 23, 2012 : 3:04 p.m.

Is lemmings/lemings spelled with one m or two?


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 2:33 p.m.



Fri, Nov 23, 2012 : 4:41 p.m.

Lemmings, I have spell checker and apparently it's two m's Billy.

Bashir McCrutcheon

Fri, Nov 23, 2012 : 2:59 p.m.

It's one thing if adults want to participate in this idiocy, but dragging small kids with you is disgusting!


Fri, Nov 23, 2012 : 2:39 p.m.

Bad: Feeling obligated to camp out all night to save $50 on a TV set. Worse: Being assigned by your editor to camp out all night in order to write a news story about people who feel obligated to camp out all night to save $50 on a TV set.


Fri, Nov 23, 2012 : 3:52 p.m.


Lizzy Alfs

Fri, Nov 23, 2012 : 2:42 p.m.

Haha @seldon, good call. It wasn't that bad, I swear.. :)


Fri, Nov 23, 2012 : 2:35 p.m.

Those poor, poor people - at least the 'Hunger Game' contestants were chosen by lottery.


Fri, Nov 23, 2012 : 2:29 p.m.

The whole "Black Friday" thing is out of control. But at least some stores are smart enough now to hire extra security and hand out merchandise tickets for items to people who are standing in line, hopefully avoiding a stampede and someone getting seriously hurt. Corporate greed aside, I give them credit for that at least.

Bob Krzewinski

Fri, Nov 23, 2012 : 1:53 p.m.

For a growing number of people, today is also Buy Nothing Day.


Sat, Nov 24, 2012 : 3:51 a.m.

I just went to Walgreens to buy a bag of doritos, I had the munchies. But other than that, I abhor black friday, I didn't buy any material crap.


Fri, Nov 23, 2012 : 4:38 p.m.

Bob and Cash, I couldn't agree more.


Fri, Nov 23, 2012 : 2:46 p.m.

But we never get top billing in the media do we? :-)


Fri, Nov 23, 2012 : 12:48 p.m.

Great parenting, teach your child it's ok to run and bull your way to get what you want and don't necessarily need.


Fri, Nov 23, 2012 : 1:41 p.m.

I agree, Joe. Not to mention a child vs. a very determined adult after the very same limited-in-number, "Black Friday" doorbuster item. Yikes...sounds like a formula for disaster to me. I also don't understand why shoppers bring their very young children, five-year olds, to partake in the shopping melee. They should be home, in bed, IMO.


Fri, Nov 23, 2012 : 12:30 p.m.

I have been told that discount shopping for some is better than ___. Add the challenges of choosing the right olympic arena, camping out overnight for the big fast-walk competition, and finally whipping out those snap-decision, make-or-break grabs on a borrowed budget is no less than the ritz-glitz of american life - for some. How about congressionaly-mandated triple holiday pay plus/minus 6 hours within a national holiday including Thanksgiving? At least some normal people will benefit from all this commercialized ___.