"He who snoozes, loses," Stacie Lundy said confidently while waiting outside the Target store Thursday evening with her family.
She, with many others, waited in line outside the store in the chilly weather hoping to be among the first inside when Black Friday sales begin at the Eastwood Mall.
Lundy had been waiting at the beginning of the line since 3 p.m. She said it is her fifth year staying up to shop, and that she is hoping to save between $300 and $400 on a 50-inch flat-screen television.
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Brianna Heib of Champion points out the TV she was waiting in line to buy Thursday. She began waiting outside the Niles Best Buy at 5 p.m. Wednesday.
Lundy's wait until 9 p.m. Thursday - many stores started ''Friday'' a few hours early - is short compared to first-timer Brianna Heib's. Heib camped outside the Best Buy in Niles since 5 p.m. Wednesday.
Heib said she was willing to forgo her Thanksgiving dinner to purchase a 40-inch flat-screen television at a bargain price.
A little further down the Best Buy line was Anu Vinyak, who has stayed up for Black Friday for two times in the last three years. From his experience, he said he learned that the best time to line up is just a few hours before the doors open. He also said the best way to pass the time in line is by talking with those nearby and bonding over the bargains.
Anita Jones, from Beaver County, Pa., came out to wait with her 13-year-old son, Xiyrail Barnet. Jones said she was tired of spending Thanksgiving with relatives in Ohio and then making a "mad dash" back to Pennsylvania to get to the stores, so this year she went out to the Niles Target. Jones said it has become a tradition and gives her time with her son.
"I love it," said Barnet, clad in a sweatshirt, jeans and socks with sandals, "but I don't have the right shoes on."
Nancy Vickers waited around the corner from the entrance to Target with her granddaughter, Kerington Vickers. Despite the long line ahead of them, they remained enthusiastic, noting that they weren't out for any big-ticket items. Nancy has been shopping on Black Friday for the last seven years and her veteran advice is "to have a list so you know where to go in the department stores."
Lines also formed outside of entrances to the mall that opened at midnight. Tammy Hines waited with her daughter, Katelyn, and her friends Angela and Abby Delaquila. The women were prepared with blankets and chairs and excited for the coupon and gift card bags that were offered to the first 1,200 shoppers by the mall.
"I got a rush last year," said Abby Delaquila, who plans on heading to Victoria's Secret as soon as they get inside.
Those waiting outside Sears and Target were served free coffee by volunteers from The Movement, a new church in the mall complex. The church purchased 1,000 coffee cups and received donations from the mall and a discount from the North Commons Starbucks for the outreach event.