INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — For many area bargain hunters, Black Friday actually started on Thanksgiving.Some local stores did feature their door-busting Thursday sales, however most shoppers began lining up early Friday morning to be the first line for deals to kick off the holiday shopping season.
Nicole Roberts of Vero Beach began her shopping spree with her stepfather, Tim Stalhood, at 4:15 a.m. and by 9 a.m. had already been to Sam’s Club, Wal-Mart, Target and the Indian River Mall.
She reported seeing great bargains including 32-inch flat screen TVs at Wal-Mart which were going for $200.
“The lady in line in front of me bought three and was doing the paperwork for the extended warranty and she apologized it was taking so long,” said Roberts. “I told her not to worry she was getting a great deal.”
Roberts said she ventured out without a specific shopping goal in mind except to hit the stores and see what bargains were out there. She reported great deals on clothes at Target.
“We are packed,” said Ursula Gunter, director of marketing at the Indian River Mall. “We are really thrilled with the response, people are walking out the store with bags, they are out there buying.”
At the Vero Fashion Outlet, which featured a pre-party starting at 9 p.m. Thursday followed by all the stores being opened at midnight, business was also brisk.
“There definitely have been larger crowds this year,” said Patti Jamar, general manager at the Vero Fashion Outlets. “We are off to a fantastic start and are very pleased with the traffic right now and we look forward to a fabulous holiday weekend.”
Mark Shone of Jupiter says he comes every year to the Outlet Mall for Black Friday shopping.
“This place has the best deals around,” he said.
Over on the barrier island there were no specific Black Friday events scheduled, though some stores were offering individual deals to attract shoppers on one of the busiest shopping days of the year.
For bargain hunter Roberts, who likened the Black Friday shopping experience to the yard sale events on a busy Saturday morning, there was one deal she couldn’t pass up.
She bought the balance board for a WII Fit for $67 at the mall, which normally retails for around $100. But there was another deal she needed to accomplish to make it the perfect steal, find the WII console on sale to make the whole thing work