CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - For many stores, and shoppers, Black Friday may have started late Thanksgiving evening. But, some people just don't want to wait in line for hours, no matter how good the deal. Those shoppers also turned out in big numbers on Black Friday, but they did so at what some called a more "civilized" hour.
Laurie Kreul of West Union and her daughter Brooke Samuelson called themselves a good example of later-day shoppers on Black Friday. Three generations of the family from northeast Iowa always get together on the day after Thanksgiving to do some shopping. And they've done it for about 35 years.
On Friday, their shopping plans took them to Lindale Mall. But Kreul said in all that time and tradition, they've never had the desire to join the "door buster" crowd either very early in the morning or now late on Thanksgiving evening.
"I think we can get those things at a reasonable price later - plus we like to sleep in," Kreul said.
Her daughter agreed saying "I'd rather sleep and pay more than not sleep."
However, there were some shoppers who had waited in line for the big bargains and then came back later to keep going for round two.
Jessica Nissen said she returned to shopping after getting her second wind. When asked what was more fun--lining up for the big deal or coming back when the crowds had thinned a bit, she picked fighting the crowds.
"I'd say the door busters, it's fun to line up and be first even if it was freezing cold," she said.
But a companion, Anthony Jones, was shaking his head at that answer. Jones said, "I could never do it. I think it's much more fun to come in when it's much more relaxed and not with people trampling over each other trying to get stuff."
This was the first year Lindale Mall moved the starting time up from very early in the morning on Black Friday to midnight. Several retailers said there were big crowds for the first hour and a half but then things died down. Another large wave of shoppers started showing up by midmorning.
The National Retail Federation expects shoppers to spend 4.1% more this year or $586.1 billion dollars. And merchants hope the calendar lends a hand.
With Thanksgiving falling on the 22nd of November, there are exactly 32 shopping days from Black Friday till Christmas Eve. That's the most you can ever get on the calendar.