Black Friday in Marquette

Shoppers line up for top holiday bargains

Deb Blemberg, of Hulbert, checks out the discounted clothes at Kohl’s Thursday.(Journal photo by Ray Bressette)

MARQUETTE — For thousands of shoppers, Thanksgiving is the day to give thanks for discounted electronics and taking advantage of store-wide sales to finish the holiday.

The tradition that used to be Black Friday has started earlier each year, as many businesses in Marquette opened in the evening hours of Thursday, with lines forming much earlier in the afternoon.

Younkers store manager Debbie Hatcher said the holiday is a special shopping experience for everyone involved.

“It’s very exciting for the store,” Hatcher said. “We see a lot of families coming together after their Thanksgiving meal, and it’s their new ritual to come in on the holidays. It’s very exciting for the store and for others to come together.”

Younkers added an extra incentive for those who stood outside in the line that stretched half the length of the mall, giving out gift cards up to $500 as they walked through the door.

Younkers promoted early lines Thursday with $500 gift cards handed out to those who showed up early and waited in the rain for their store to open at 5 p.m. Both stores are located in the Westwood Mall in Marquette Township. (Journal photo by Ray Bressette)

Comforters and outerwear are always the top sellers during the holidays at Younkers, but not everyone showed up Thursday with specific items in mind.

Adam Slane, of Marquette, who stood near the front of Younkers line, was willing to sacrifice his Thursday afternoon to stand in the rain while not even knowing what he would leave the store with.

“I’m just here to find anything in the store that catches my eye,” Slane said. “If you can find anything discounted, it’s worth standing in any weather on any day.”

Meanwhile, down the highway at Marquette’s Best Buy, doors opened at 6 p.m. to another large crowd of shoppers who stretched their line around the building.

Andrew Pica, of Wolverine, Michigan, was visiting for Marquette to spend the holiday with his family, but was the first in line at Best Buy at 1 p.m. to grab a discounted 49-inch Toshiba television.

Shoppers spent Thursday afternoon forming lines outside businesses such as Best Buy in Marquette Township, where the line wrapped around the building for the store’s opening at 6 p.m. (Journal photo by Ray Bressette)

Pica said while lines can become hectic in Marquette for the holidays, the small town stores are more tolerable than those in the bigger cities.

“I’ve done this downstate in places like Traverse City, and they can become a nightmare,” Pica said. “Places like Marquette are more low-key and helpful, and you can get in-and-out much safer.”

Ray Bressette can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 243. His email address is

To see a short video of the Black Friday festivities, check out this link: