Black Friday sales started early

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Black Friday gets earlier each year; people are getting up early, lining up and waiting in the cold in front of stores to get their discounted purchases. Some of the sales no longer start on Friday, but as early as Thursday night.

This was the case at Walmarts everywhere with Black Friday sales starting Thursday at 8 p.m. Socorro’s Walmart assistant manager Troy Parrill said Wednesday associates had fun preparing merchandise and putting together a Black Friday schedule and expected a big turnout.

There were three big sellers this year that were in stock and are guaranteed to be under everyone’s Christmas tree no matter what if they got there in sale period, he said. The first was a 32-inch television, the second a 16-gigabite iPad for $399 with a $72 rebate gift card with purchase. The last was the LG Blu-ray player. The advice Parrill gave customers was make sure they had a good dinner, and don’t be frantic.

“We’ve seen problems happen in the U.S. and we want to relieve pressure,” Parrill said. “People are pushing and shoving and will be going after the three big items. We want to serve customers, and we are being proactive with it.”

If customers didn’t get one of the three big items during the sales, Walmart got customers’ names with addresses and will ship purchases to their homes.

The sales will be going all day, it’s nothing that’s super, he said. In the past Black Friday could be hectic starting up each year. The early Black Friday sales started on Thursday to make Black Friday safer and make shopping more enjoyable, he said.

“We anticipate it will go well,” Parrill said Wednesday.

Some shops like Radio Shack opened at the same time with regular hours from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Owner Al Brown said there wasn’t much preparation for Black Friday sales. Most of the people leave town to Albuquerque for the major stores and outlets because they have a lot of selections and discounts, he said.

“The streets dry up,” Brown said. “It’s like a ghost town,”

In years past, Radio Shack tried participating in Black Friday sales events, but nothing worked with discounts so Brown backed off. There was no one lining up except for one or two people, he said.

Aaron’s Electronics will have Black Friday specials all weekend, Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Monday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Customers have a choice of three televisions for $99 and lap-tops for $69.99 a month. With all electronics there will be no money down until Jan. 2, said general manager Henry Dorris.

By spreading Black Friday sales over three days it is better for the store and the customers, he said. Everyone hits up the bigger department stores, then come to Aaron’s on Saturday or Monday to look for something, Aaron’s gives customers the two extra days, he said.