MARQUETTE - While some critics moaned about stores starting their Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving Day that didn't stop shoppers from arriving in droves at stores like Walmart and Target to get their Christmas shopping done.
There was no fear of a winter storm this year as the weather was calm but cold into the early hours of the morning. The parking lots at Walmart and Target were packed with customers and even as the night wore on stores had a steady stream of new customers coming into the store.
Shoppers arrived at Walmart at 6 p.m., and at Target as well as the Westwood Mall at 8 p.m. to get the Black Friday bargains on TVs, video games, winter coats and much more.
Shoppers were in line at 6 a.m. outside Menards in Marquette Township hoping to cash in on the Black Friday 2013 sales. (Journal photo by Sylvia Stevens)
Even at midnight the mall was still packed with customers waiting for mall staff to hand out complementary goodie bags. The mall has been handing out the goodie bags, with a water bottle and treats, for more than six years now.
With different stores opening increasingly later in the evening and into the morning many shoppers were going from one sale to another without fear that they would miss out on some of the more popular deals.
Taylor Roos of Gwinn started her shopping at Walmart and Target and then went to the WestWood Mall where stores like Kohls, Younkers, and JCPenney's opened at 8 p.m.
"I bought a lot of stuff for my daughter like Princess Little People toys, pajamas and movies," Roos said.
GameStop shoppers, like Bob Baynton of Marquette, lined up just before midnight to get discounts on video games and next generation consoles.
"I don't usually brave the Black Friday sales," Baynton said. "Tonight, I'm getting a PS4."
Menards shoppers started lining up at 4 a.m. in hopes of getting discounted tablets, batteries, car starters and pet toys. When Menards opened at 6 a.m. the line of customers wrapped around the front of the building.
"I think people really appreciated that we waited until after Thanksgiving to open," said Darren Miller, Menards general manager. "Right on our flyer we put a statement saying that we believe this is a family holiday and that we were going to open the day after and not on Thanksgiving."
Sylvia Stevens can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 240.