Throngs at MOA relish traditions of early-bird shopping on Black Friday

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Sure, shopping in your pajamas is warm and convenient. But the thrill of the pre-dawn Black Friday shopping tradition shows no sign of fading among the faithful.

Before the doors opened at the Mall of America at 5 a.m., throngs gathered at the north entrance, where Caribou coffee workers with giant carafes of coffee and hot chocolate strapped to their backs served chilly shoppers.

The first person in line showed up at 4 p.m. on Thanksgiving.

The Friday after Thanksgiving is expected to be the busiest day of the long weekend when shoppers can drop more than a third of their holiday budget, according to the National Retail Federation.

The Mall of America, which was closed Thanksgiving, expects 200,000 people on Black Friday.

Tammy Fager of West St. Paul and her sister Jennifer, of Eden Prairie, have made a tradition out of the pre-dawn shopping sprees.

“I’ve been up for 24 hours and I’m still cheerful,” Tammy Fager said.

Last year, the pair arrived at the Mall of America at 3 a.m. and were too far back to get a shot at gift cards and prizes the all gives away.

“We learned,” she said. They arrived at 10 p.m., within shouting distance of the front of the line and a shoo-in for one of the 200 cards valued between $10 and $500.

Retailers are hopeful for one of the busiest holiday shopping seasons in a decade. About 116 million shoppers are expected to hit stores on Black Friday, part of a five-day promotional sprint for retailers that will continue through Monday.

2018-11-23 12:18:38

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