Black Friday remains the craze in Roseville

By: Scott Thomas Anderson, Editor
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There was no shortage of lines in front of Roseville’s most popular retailers Thanksgiving Day, as well as droves of shoppers swelling inside the Westfield Galleria before midnight. 

Shoandra and Rick Azevedo were the first people in line at the Best Buy on Galleria Boulevard Thursday. The Rocklin couple had hoped to get in line even earlier, showing up Tuesday only to be turned away by security guards. They were back at 9 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning.

“This is a tradition since 1994 for us,” said Rick Azevedo, who brought along a propane heater to stay warm. He wanted to bring a Weber grill to cook some food for his compatriots in line, but was told it wasn’t allowed.

The couple, who were celebrating their 14th wedding anniversary that day, hoped to snag a Kindle Fire HD and Playstation 3, and the free $30 Best Buy gift card that came with the purchase.

“We do Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday instead,” Rick Azevedo said. “The kids have just gotten used to it.”

By 6:45 p.m. Thursday, a line of people had started to form at the Fry’s on North Sunrise Avenue in anticipation of the store’s opening at 6 a.m. Despite a line of more than 150 customers, one Fry’s employee told The Press Tribune that it was the shortest line in recent memory. Last year’s line wrapped around almost the entire store. Fry’s workers believe the shorter gathering is due to a special offer the company made this year that allowed customers to pay for Black Friday deals online on Thanksgiving and then pick up the products Friday at 9 a.m.

Lines at the Westfield Galleria began forming around 9 p.m. Thanksgiving evening. The Galleria opened its doors at 11 p.m., with a number of stores turning their lights on at midnight. One shopping destination inside the mall that waited until 6 a.m. to open was the Apple Store. By 5:50 a.m., a significant line had formed at its door. One person waiting to get in was Jonathan Haze of Antelope.

“Black Friday is fun, especially the rush of being in the crowd,” Haze said. “Honestly, I wish I didn’t have to shop for myself. I wish I could just come and watch the looks on some of the peoples’ faces as it’s happening.”

Haze added that he had already witnessed a strange shopping frenzy earlier in the night at a Walmart.

“They had a special sale that would happen at 8 p.m.,” he said. “These bins were shrink-wrapped and people weren’t supposed to open them until 8. Well, someone opened one before that to peek inside. Another guy who was watching got this really panicked look on his face and started to rip into the bin, and he was grabbing all this random stuff like pillows as fast as he could and stuffing them into his cart.”

Such desperate spectacles are exactly what interests Blake Grant-Parks of Yuba City on Black Friday.

“I just get a charge out of it,” he said. “Especially watching some people do whatever it takes to get what they want.”  

By 6:45 a.m. Friday morning, a long line was still waiting to get inside the Sam’s Club on Pleasant Grove Boulevard. Waiting at the end of it was Gary Baldwin of Auburn. Baldwin was especially interested in a Black Friday deal to get a Samsung Droid Galaxy smart phone for 96 cents.

“I’m here to get the 96-cent phone,” he said. “And I’m pretty sure everyone else is here to get that, too.”

Michelle Carl contributed to this report.