Black Friday Shoppers Line Up Early In Westchester

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Yonkers residents Don Nolasco, left, and Michael Gabriel arrived at the Hartsdale Best Buy on Wednesday evening.
Yonkers residents Don Nolasco, left, and Michael Gabriel arrived at the Hartsdale Best Buy on Wednesday evening. Photo Credit: Meredith Shamburger
The line for Black Friday stretches to the end of the Hartsdale Best Buy by Thursday afternoon.
The line for Black Friday stretches to the end of the Hartsdale Best Buy by Thursday afternoon. Photo Credit: Meredith Shamburger

HARTSDALE, N.Y. – Yonkers resident Michael Gabriel is a seven-year veteran of Black Friday shopping, so it's no surprise he was already in line at Best Buy by Thursday afternoon.

“As soon as those ads leak out, I start planning — whether it's a year or three weeks ahead of time,” he said.

Gabriel was one of about 30 people waiting in line at the Hartsdale Best Buy about 3 p.m. Thursday. Best Buy stores will open at midnight, with tickets handed out at 10 p.m. for certain items, such as televisions.

This year, some retailers were opening earlier than usual for Black Friday and seeing shoppers lining up earlier as well. Toys 'R' Us and Walmart locations planned to open at 8 p.m. Target locations were prepping for a 9 p.m. opening.

Walmart also planned three separate “events” for Black Friday at 8 p.m., 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.

The first event at 8 p.m. has discounts on video games and consoles, such as a Wii console for $89, DVDs for as low as $1.96, toys and clothes for kids, and household appliances. The second event will slash prices on electronics, such as a 32-inch LCD television for $148 and HP printers for $49. The last event will offer deals on sports and musical equipment, jewelry, car tires, vacuums, more kids clothing and other items.

Gabriel and fellow Yonkers resident Don Nolasco arrived together at the Best Buy at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday with chairs and sleeping bags. Gabriel said they had been eating at the open restaurants in the shopping center, sleeping and using their cellphones while in line.

“Every year the lines build up earlier and earlier,” Nolasco said.

White Plains resident Jordan Pederigan stood closer to the end of the line of early shoppers in Hartsdale, switching out the waiting duty with a friend. He was hoping to get a TV and a laptop.

“I don't know how this year's going to end up,” he said. The first 25 or 30 people in line are the ones who receive tickets for coveted electronics such as TVs, he said.

Gabriel and Nolasco said they didn't plan to celebrate Thanksgiving while waiting in line. Pederigan arrived about 2 p.m. and said he had already marked the holiday.

“My sisters came down from Virginia, and we just had lunch earlier today, right before we came here,” he said.

Gabriel said the Hartsdale location was his “best bet” for getting electronics.

“I've been to the Yonkers one, and a lot of the lines there start earlier,” he said.

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Having spent too many Black Fridays on the staff side of the counter, I wish the whole concept would just go away. Spending time with family and friends should be more important than needless consumerism.