An estimated 2,000 people waited patiently in the predawn dark and cold for the first Black Friday at Cabela's Columbus, the outdoor retailer one of the stores that decided not to jump the gun on the traditional start of the holiday shopping season.
An estimated 2,000 people waited patiently in the predawn dark and cold for the first Black Friday at Cabela’s Columbus, the outdoor retailer one of the stores that decided not to jump the gun on the traditional start of the holiday shopping season.
What did they want? “Camo, ammo, guns — oh, and gift bags,” said Jake Starr of Dublin.
The gift bags were an inducement to arrive early, and the retailer handed out almost $10,000 worth of items in those packs.
The 5 a.m. opening had a party atmosphere despite the cold, as Cabela’s employees rolled out hot drinks and played music — including a festive Duck Dynasty CD, “Duck the Halls.”
Glenn Gomberg, from the West Side of Columbus, was one of the first in line.
“We got here at 3 o’clock yesterday afternoon, although I came at 9 in the morning to make sure no one had beat us to the front,” Gomberg said.
“I’m going to get a shotgun and a refrigerator. I’m saving like $300 on both.”
The line stretched almost completely around the store and the parking lot was filled to capacity.
So long was the line that Cabela’s opened a few minutes earlier than planned — 4:55 a.m. Unlike some other stores that let a limited number of shoppers in at a time, Cabela’s allowed the vast line to file in, assuming that the size of the store and fast pace of the shopping would keep everything even.
In fact, it was only a few minutes after the doors opened — at 4:58 a.m. — that the first shoppers walked in to the check-out lines, said Derrek Shively, retail marketing manager.
While many in line had stayed up all night, they weren’t planning to shop and go home.
“I got to go to Walmart,” Gomberg said. “I’ve still got to shop for my 3-year-old niece.”
©2013 The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio)
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