Shopping frenzy

Krystle Wagner • Jul 21, 2015 at 11:51 AM

While some stores kicked off their biggest shopping day of the year late Thursday night, others opened early Friday morning.

One of the shoppers braving crowds was Grand Haven resident Jeff English.

English said he and his wife started their shopping when stores opened at 8 p.m. Thursday, and they were still going strong at 5:30 a.m. Friday.

“We’re hardcore,” he said, laughing.

Since the couple doesn’t like standing in line, they’ve developed a plan throughout their years as Black Friday shoppers.

English said they wait until most of the rush dies down in stores because most deals are for electronics, and that isn’t what they’re after.

“We make a game out of it and get little things,” he said.

Although English beat waiting in lines, Mark Easton began standing in line for a Kindle at 3 a.m. Friday.

Easton, of Grand Haven, said he took over for his wife so she could stand in another line. He said she got in line at midnight.

For Easton, the braving the chaos is about one thing.

“It’s all about the sales,” he said.

Another Grand Haven resident willing to wait in line to save money was Rhonda Struble, who got in line for a Kindle at 4 a.m. Friday.

Struble, a Black Friday shopping veteran, said it didn’t seem like as many people were shopping in the early morning hours.

“Usually you have to get in line a lot earlier,” she said. “I was shocked.”

Although Ron Kendall wasn’t shopping for anything in particular this year, the Muskegon resident followed his tradition of Black Friday shopping and ventured to the Lakes Mall.

“It’s just an opportunity to get something at a cheaper price if you’re willing to stay up late and shop at an unreasonable hour," he said.

Mall general manager Michael Hagen said he thought the midnight rush of shoppers was larger than previous years, which he thought had to do with bigger sales.

Hagen said they prepare for the large amount of people walking through the mall doors by making sure security and housekeeping are ready to accommodate shoppers.

“It’s a good time for shoppers to get out and grab a great deal,” he said.

Shelby resident Michelle Przekop drove about 30 minutes to get her fill of bargains.

Przekop said it’s fun and put her in the holiday mood, as well as giving her an adrenaline rush.

Przekop, who has been a Black Friday shopper for 15 years, said she usually starts at the mall and works her way to surrounding stores.

“It’s nice to be home by noon and have 80 percent of my shopping done,” she said.

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