Clovis News

Chilly Black Friday shoppers pack Valley stores

Some call them crazy. But Black Friday shoppers who braved 32-degree weather, long lines and a lack of sleep said they were just having fun.

The annual traditional kickoff to the holiday shopping season began late Thursday night and stretched into Friday morning.

A wave of hyped-up store openings started at 10 p.m. Thursday with Toys "R" Us welcoming hundreds of shoppers.

Seven hours later at 5 a.m., Kim Miller of Fresno ended 31 hours of waiting outside the Best Buy in the Marketplace at River Park by being the first in line.

"We ate dinner here," Miller said. "The family behind us had Thanksgiving out here, too."

Similar scenes of shoppers bursting through store doors to cheers played out across the Valley early Friday morning.

By 3 p.m. sales had slowed down at the Target store on Herndon Avenue in Clovis compared to its early-bird hours, but the store was still bustling with activity.

"It's still booming," said Ashley Pineda, a store manager. "Everything is flying off the shelves, and we're trying our best to keep everything full."

Black Friday was expected to be the No. 1 day for sales and foot traffic this year, according to ShopperTrak, a Chicago-based firm that measures sales and traffic at retailers. The rankings won't be in until after Christmas -- but Fresno shoppers stacked up some impressive data.