November 27, 2010

Pulling a mall-nighter

So, what's the big deal? That's exactly what Maine's Black Friday shoppers were asking -- and hunting for -- as they flocked to local retailers.

By J. Hemmerdinger
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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Christina Reali, right, of Old Orchard Beach makes her way to the checkout line with her aunt, Marianne Reali, during their Black Friday shopping trip to Target in South Portland.

Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

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Despite chilly weather, many shoppers queued up and enjoyed an impromptu camaraderie with their Black Friday brethren.

Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

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All that was left was a 46-inch set, which Reali bought for $450.

There was a smaller line Friday morning at Best Buy at the Maine Mall. Because Best Buy opened at 5 a.m., several hundred shoppers endured an extra hour in the elements. "I am all about getting in the door and getting home," said Venu Chaganti, 33, of Scarborough, who was at the front of the line. He was shopping for a $187 Toshiba laptop computer and had been waiting outside with about 20 friends since 3 p.m. Thursday.

Even restaurants in the area got in the Black Friday spirit. McDonald's opened at 4 a.m., an hour earlier than normal. And the Tim Hortons on Maine Mall Road was packed with customers at 3:30 a.m.

Adam Howard, a South Portland patrolman who was stationed at Target on Friday morning, said there were no problems to report. In the past, he had seen pushing and fighting on Black Friday.

A few years ago, when the mall opened at midnight, some shoppers came straight from the bars and caused trouble, said Howard. And he remembers that shoppers were particularly aggressive in 1996.

Why? That was when the Tickle Me Elmo toy was released.

Staff Writer Jonathan Hemmerdinger can be reached at 791-6316 or at:


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Sarah Gillis of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, waits in line at Target in South Portland with a V Rocker Extreme gaming chair, one of the “hot” items at the store Friday.

Derek Davis/Staff Photographer


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