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August 23, 2014

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Shop talk: Staff and readers report on Black Friday in Las Vegas

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Christopher DeVargas

Shoppers search for Black Friday deals at Wal-Mart on Eastern Ave. and Serene, Friday, Nov. 23, 2012.

Updated Friday, Nov. 23, 2012 | 11:30 a.m.

Black Friday 2012

Shoppers roam the Las Vegas Premium Outlets on south Las Vegas Blvd. for Black Friday deals, Nov. 23, 2012. Launch slideshow »

Long lines. Jammed aisles. Crowded parking lots.

The holiday shopping season is officially under way.

Ho, ho, ho.

But enough of the bah-humbug. This is a day for shoppers to give, not receive, and for retailers to get a nice financial boost.

So how’s Black Friday going in Las Vegas? Here’s a snapshot look, presented in staff reports and tweets from followers of the Las Vegas Sun. We’ll be adding information as it becomes available to us.

Do you have a photo or observation to share? Send it to #SunBlackFriday.

Now, on to reports of Black Friday activity:

• Shortly before 7 a.m., a small group huddled outside Juicy Couture at Town Square, eagerly eyeing the contents through the store’s glass front doors. Ana Lopez and her two children, Grecia, 18, and Tony, 16, were among those patiently waiting.

Juicy Couture wasn’t their first stop, nor would it be their last. The trio already had hit the Fashion Show mall and the Las Vegas Premium Outlets Mall, 7400 Las Vegas Blvd. South. Next up: more shopping near downtown.

“We’re just gonna go all over town,” Grecia Lopez said, noting they didn’t have a game plan but instead “improvised” along the way.

• First-time Black Friday shopper Theresa Gatti leisurely strolled through Town Square, a Starbucks drink in hand.

The San Francisco resident, who will call Las Vegas home soon, traditionally avoids congested shopping areas, but family members convinced her otherwise this year. Her shopping list includes a television, but she wasn’t sure that would even happen Friday.

“We’re just looking around — maybe going to Puma and Victoria’s Secret for the girl stuff,” she said.

• Fifteen-year-old Karissa Cabalfin lounged on a bench with her mother about 8 a.m. Friday at the Las Vegas Premium Outlets Mall.

The pair had, quite literally, shopped until they dropped. They began Thanksgiving night with a trek to Wal-Mart, followed by the Meadows Mall and then the outlets.

At Wal-Mart, another shopper swiped one of their kitchen items — a common scenario they said reduced several other shoppers to tears.

“Besides all the crowds, there were some people who were courteous,” Karissa Cabalfin said. “It was worth it with all the clothes I have.”

Consider the bench a mere pit stop, though. Karissa Cabalfin said they were simply resting while waiting for her brother and dad, then they were off to Fashion Show mall.

“It’s exhausting, but we’ll do it again,” she said.

• Not all of the shopping was for merchandise. At Metro Pizza's Henderson location, 1420 W. Horizon Ridge, a line of 50 to 60 people could be seen around 7:30 a.m. The attraction? Two-for-one $25 gift cards. The cards were sold out by 9:30 a.m., a staff member said.

• The Firestone tire location at the Galleria Mall opened at 5 a.m., two hours earlier than usual, and offered discounts of as much as $150 off of tire purchases of $400 or more. It was part of a new strategy to pull in shoppers looking for Black Friday deals on gifts and other merchandise at the mall, and staff members said it worked. The store was busy all morning, they said.

• At the Samsonite kiosk in the Las Vegas Premium Outlets Mall, 7400 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Pamela Lasick said traffic at 8 a.m. was normal for a Friday morning.

“We usually start getting busy around 10 or 11, when the tourists start to get up and around,” she said.

Lasick said Thursday was a different story, however. The mall was open on Thanksgiving, and Lasick said a co-worker told her it was busy during the day.

The Samsonite kiosk was offering a Black Friday discount of 20 percent.

• Tweet from Donna Cregg (‏@GemGem54): Was expecting big crowd @ Radio Shack in Boulder City but apparently everyone went to bigger stores. Sloooooow day.

• One group out on Black Friday wasn’t interested in joining the masses for any door-buster shopping deals.

Instead, they stood on Eastern Avenue, near Serene Avenue, holding a banner that read:

“Support striking workers! Don’t shop at Walmart today!”

“I think the consumerism is bad for society,” said Kelly Patterson, who’s affiliated with the Industrial Workers of the World. “It’s destroying people’s priorities.”

The group strategically stood next to a busy road, near an entrance to a shopping plaza containing a Wal-Mart. The big-box retailer opened its doors at 8 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, one of several stores nationwide boasting expanded shopping hours ahead of Black Friday.

Maria Wilburn, a school counselor, said she joined the protest to show support for those speaking out against all companies that “exploit their workers.”

“I think consumerism is a killer of the family’s economy because people shop for things that are not absolutely needed,” she said. “I hope everyone will take a moment today and think, ‘Do I really need this?’”

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