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Shoppers hit Cottage Grove stores for Black Friday deals

By 11:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, the parking lot was full of cars at Kohl's in Cottage Grove and late-night and early morning shoppers were lined up past the far edge of the building. Most were trolling for bargains in all areas of the store. Bulletin photo by Judy Spooner

Alyse Hays' dog ripped up her bed sheets so she was waiting in line with other bargain hunters to get buy new ones at Kohl's in Cottage Grove for the midnight opening on Black Friday.

This year, retail experts predicted 152 million Americans would line up for midnight store openings on what has become known at Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. Last year, 138 million shopped early.

Hays, and her friend, Shannon Brzinski, who was also looking to buy sheets, and maybe some towels, were at the head of the line at about 9:30 p.m.

Niki Kenyon, who was wearing a "sherpa," a tent-like nylon cape that covered her as she sat on the sidewalk at the head of the line at Kohl's, had a list of items she intended to buy including a Hoover floor scrubber and pots and pans.

"I've got a list," she said. "I'm looking for a lot of stuff."

Heidi Karbon, and her mother, Betty Radke, Wisconsin, who was in town for the holiday, were in line.

Karbon wanted to by a Dyson vacumn cleaner.

Most of those waiting in line had already been to Walmart in Hastings or Woodbury, that opened at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day and had mixed experiences.

Radke said the traffic was "awful" at Walmart stores.

Some of those waiting in line, strangers before they started talking, exchanged confidences to pass the time. Brzinski said their conversation was similar to those people have in bars.

Most of those in line were seasoned shoppers, having waited in lines in the middle of the night in past years.

"It's kind of fun to wait," said Taylor Samuelson, who wanted a deal on a iPod dock.

"We did good," said Katy Knoll, who had already shopped at Walmart.

Tyra Raasch said the rule for the people she came with was "divide and conquer" with everyone headed to separate departments.

"Walmart was crazy," said Caryn Smythe. "We got in and out."

Judy Spooner
Judy Spooner is the longest-serving staff writer at the South Washington County Bulletin. Spooner, who covers education and features in addition to writing a weekly column, has been with the newspaper for over 30 years.
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