Black Friday morning finds orderly shoppers

Rachael Connell moves through the check-out line Friday morning at the Menards Black Friday sale with her sisters and mother. Connell and her family drove in from Slater. for the holiday and began their Black Friday shopping at 4:30 p.m. the day before.

Rachael Connell moves through the check-out line Friday morning at the Menards Black Friday sale with her sisters and mother. Connell and her family drove in from Slater. for the holiday and began their Black Friday shopping at 4:30 p.m. the day before.

When Andreya Jensen and Steve Gilpin arrived 30 minutes before Radio Shack opened its doors on Black Friday, nearly a dozen others jumped out of their cars and joined them at the door.

Katie Hollis and Ray Rowland had been waiting in their car for 2 1/2 hours, their objective to nab a couple of tablets at an amazing price.

In line, Hollis and Rowland were fifth and sixth.

But thankfully, those who lined up before them did not ask for the only two tablets Radio Shack had when the store’s “elves” brought clipboards and interviewed each one.

Had Hollis and Rowland known the store only had two devices, they may have been quicker to the door, they said.

When the doors opened and more than two dozen waiting shoppers filed in, the scene was calm and orderly.

The employees, armed with the shoppers’ wishlists, already had tracked down the items in the store and had them ready at the check-out.

“We didn’t have to run and grab,” said an appreciative Stella Williams, who was just beginning her day of shopping. “We were in and out, no one pushed or shoved.

“Everything worked well. I wish other stores would take note. It was fantastic.”

That was partly in contrast to some of the previous night’s experiences at larger retailers.

Hollis and Rowland started their shopping spree about 10 p.m., after using the Jefferson City News Tribune ads to plot their course.

“We’ve been everywhere,” Rowland said.

Checkout lines at Menards stretched back to the pets’ aisles and at Target to the food section.

“The crowds were ridiculous,” Hollis said. “It’s a rush.”

For Todd Branch, originally from St. Louis, the Jefferson City-sized crowds were pretty manageable. And his wife, Shandreh, walked out with a lot of bags from the Capital Mall among other stops over the night and early morning, he said.

Radio Shack was his last stop, where he hoped to find something else before calling it a day.

The only downside — an early morning below freezing temperature.

“It’s hard to put your pin number in when you can’t feel your fingers,” Jensen said.

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