ANDERSON — This year, some stores all across the country offered Black Friday deals Thursday. Local consumers said the change relieved the crush of shoppers by extending hours.
Earl and Alfredia Ivey said the longer store hours meant fewer people came at once. The Iveys started shopping at 6 a.m. Friday and found there weren't as many people as they'd expected.
"Employees in the stores were telling us it wasn't as crowded as it usually is," Alfredia Ivey said.
That was good news for the Iveys, who spent the morning at Walgreen's for discounted perfumes before heading to Mounds Mall and The Shed in Anderson. They were planning on swinging by Wal-Mart before heading to Indianapolis for more shopping.
Target was one of the stores to offer deals starting Thanksgiving night and stretching into Friday morning. By 9 a.m. the lines inside the Target on Scatterfield Road were short, though some people were still looking for deals.
Alexis Warner and Jermani Milton went to Target after Warner got done working at 6 a.m. Going Black Friday shopping was a new experience for her; she usually works the day after Thanksgiving. This year, instead of going home to sleep, she joined Milton to shop.
Milton said she found a new cell phone at Target.
"I got a super good deal," she said. "And the amount of people wasn't too bad. We were surprised."
Kevin Hager was also in Target's electronic section waiting for his new cell phone to be activated. A veteran of Black Friday shopping, Hager said he had been up all night buying Christmas gifts for his family.
"I started at 6 p.m. yesterday at Wal-Mart," he said. "And I'm still going."
His long Thursday night and Friday would continue. After he finished shopping, Hager said, he had to go to work at 1 p.m. Despite about 30 hours with no sleep, he said it would be worth it to get presents for his two sons.
Jeff and Christine Ballenger were also at Target shopping for their grandson, whose birth is expected any day now. The Ballengers had been out Thursday night and got up early Friday morning to find gifts for their families and their future grandson.
Follow Zach Osowski on Twitter @Osowski_THB or call him at 640-4847.