Eric and I decided to head to the midnight sale at Toys R Us before we went to bed on Thanksgiving night. (Mind you, this was Eric's first experience with black Friday shopping). This seemed like a better alternative than getting up so early, especially since we could get several of the things we were shopping for all in one place.
When we arrived at 11:45pm, the line already wrapped most of the way around the store and up the sidewalk in the back nearly to the road. Eric was ready to turn around and go home before we even got out of the car. I convinced him to stay saying that in 15 minutes when the doors opened, we'd get into the store, get in line, and get out of there early. Well, when you read the story below, you'll realize that it didn't happen quite like that. We waited for 1 1/2 hours outside in freezing temperatures before we got in the store.
Once we got in, Eric immediately got in line with an empty cart, while I rummaged through the store for the things we needed and brought them back to the cart. We waited another 1 1/2 hours in line in the store to check out. The line wrapped all the way around all the aisles to the back corner of the store. We did find nearly everything we wanted though. At 3:30am, when we walked out of the store, we wondered if we ought to just hit the 4-5am sales now. People were already lined up everywhere we looked. But, we decided, we didn't want another one of those experiences, so we went home and went back to bed. We got up around 9am and resumed our shopping. Even Eric was in awe at the incredible deals we got at Kohls later that day.
Below you'll find the story from the Clarksville paper of the reason we waited in line so long, not to mention the fact that the store reached capacity before we ever reached the front. When the line hadn't moved well past midnight and we saw 6 police cars pull up, we knew there was a problem.
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – A Clarksville woman was trampled at the Toys R Us in Clarksville before the doors opened for business on Black Friday.
Amy Serna, 32, said she was in line at the Wilma Rudolph Boulevard store at about midnight and had been there since 8 p.m. when a crowd of people not in line gathered in front of the store.
When the doors were momentarily opened, the crowd not in line rushed forward. In response, the crowd in line shoved their carts forward.
Serna, reached at home Friday, said the woman behind her in line, Kim Boone of Woodlawn, was knocked down on top of her.
She suffered a swollen and bleeding right knee, according to a police report. Serna was taken to Gateway Medical Center for treatment and was told her leg is fractured and badly bruised.
According to 911 records, some people calling reported several people had fallen as the crowd pushed forward, and that the crowd had become unruly after the store’s midnight opening was delayed.
Serna said the delay was caused by the initial rush. Store management waited for police to come before letting people in.
Boone said Friday afternoon that once people were in the store, store staff were helpful and polite, but she wished there had been security outside the store to prevent the standoff from happening.
Pointing out that Toys R Us was the only store opening at midnight, Boone said, "I don't think they were expecting that many people."
Serna said today was her first and last day of Black Friday shopping. “People need to stop and remember human kindness,” she said. “I would never hurt a human being over a toy"
Black Friday lessons to be learned:
(1) Wait your turn and don't cut in line (isn't that a kindergarten lesson)(2) People are more important than toys! :)
(3) Wear a warm coat and gloves just in case you have to wait a very long time (Eric and I were both wearing light jackets)
(4) Toys R Us has a smaller store capacity than Wal-Mart/Target.
(5) If only one store opens at midnight...don't go.