JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – Hundreds gathered in front of several stores in Jonesboro that opened their doors at midnight on Black Friday. The National Retail Federation estimates 152 million people are expected to shop over the weekend.
A line began forming outside Target around four Thursday afternoon, and later wrapped around the store. Target promised doorbusting deals on a variety of items, including electronics, toys and home goods. Many people came prepared to shop, and some even used their smartphones to find discounts.
"Well, I've been saving for a while, and then just waiting on the ads," said Sarah Couch, who traveled from Poplar Bluff to Jonesboro. "I downloaded the Black Friday app on my phone, kind of like checking out all the sales and stuff like that."
Bargain hunters waited in an even longer line outside Best Buy. The prospect of saving hundreds or even thousands on electronics created a line stretching from the front door to the Dillard's entrance at the Mall at Turtle Creek.
"At least I know I'm going to get something for this," Kevin Watts said.
Watts knew what it took to avoid the long lines. He camped out in a tent in front of Best Buy starting at 10:00 Wednesday night, two days before the store opened its doors at midnight on Black Friday.
"Times are tough. You got to do what you can to save money," Watts added. "Even if it means sleeping on the cold concrete floor."
Watts scored two LCD television sets, and he says he saved more than $600. Best Buy joined other retailers promoting deals on Black Friday. The discounts created a line stretching much longer than several regulars thought possible.
"We've never stood in line like this, but we always come out and fight the crazies," Jessica Austin of Mountain Home said.
Austin says it's an annual tradition to shop at midnight with her mom. The mother of five says she can check off most of the items on her kids' Christmas lists, but Best Buy was just her first stop of the day.
"We are going to everything. We are going to hit everything," Austin added. "We're even going to go to Lowe's."