Televisions, laptops and gaming consoles were the most sought after items for many Savannah shoppers, who got a jump start on their holiday shopping on Thursday evening.
The doors at Best Buy on Abercorn Street opened at 5 p.m., but Chintan Barot secured his spot as first in line six hours earlier at 10 a.m.
“We saw an ad for a 49-inch TV for $199, so we’re here for that. This is my first time doing Black Friday shopping,” said Barot, who was in town from Atlanta visiting family.
It only took about 10 minutes after the doors opened for Barot to get his television and an Apple laptop.
“It was worth the wait. I got what I wanted,” Barot said making his way to the growing line of customers.
Ebony Irvin, 26, a seasoned Black Friday shopper, got to Best Buy around 2:45 p.m. with partner Q Coleman, mother and aunt. Irwin said Black Friday shopping has long been a tradition for the group, who also planned stops at Toys R Us, Target and Wal-Mart.
At Best Buy, her focus was all electronics.
“We’re looking for TVs, laptops, Rokus, and I think that’s it for (Best Buy),” Irvin said.
“We’ve got a long list of toys for Toys R Us … We come every year.”
Irvin said she was buying gifts mostly for other people. Today, the group planned to hit Oglethorpe Mall.
By 5:30 p.m. Irvin had everything she came for.
“It was actually pretty smooth. It was much better than some years, but every year it seems like it gets better and better,” she said before making her way to the register.
“People know what they want, and they get it.”
When Kohl’s opened its doors at 6 p.m., sisters Donna Kendrick and Kimberly Aguilar – who have been Black Friday shopping together for the past 20 years – had been waiting for about two hours, but the day had started much earlier for Aguilar.
“I was up at 3 a.m. to get sales papers,” Aliar said, who had her eye on a gaming console for her children.
Like a lot of other shoppers on Thursday, Kendrick said she enjoys the rush and holiday spirit of the overall experience. The sisters planned to make stops at Target and Wal-Mart before heading back home.
“We’ll probably be out until about midnight and then we might go home, and we might not. We’ll probably be shopping the whole weekend,” Kendrick said, adding that she wasn’t shopping for anything specific, but might pick up something for herself.
“Merry Christmas, to me, from me,” she said with a laugh.
Kohl’s manager Phillip Battles has worked in retail for about 24 years and said he always looks forward to Black Friday and holiday shopping.
“You have the customers that are excited about the great deals, the associates and the energy that they bring. It’s one of the best retail days and I’m not talking about money, but just the fun,” he said.
Battles said Kohl’s had expanded both its tech and athletic departments for customers looking for gaming consoles or Fit Bit activity trackers.
Kohl’s associates who work on Thanksgiving have all volunteered to be there, and Battles said they always have plenty of people who want to work.
“Some of them get upset if they’re not scheduled… This is what we’ve been waiting for all year,” he said.
“Like I told (the employees) earlier, the hard part is over. This is the fun. We’ve got everything up, priced and ready to go.”