Deanna Shoemaker pressed her cell phone to her ear with her right shoulder. She was trying to talk above the crowd and tell her husband, Eric, where she was. She needed help; she couldn’t carry all the things she wanted to buy at the Tacoma Mall JCPenney.
The Shoemakers lined up an hour before the department store’s opening at 4 a.m. The allure of bargains was compelling, Deanna said. She tried carrying a bed-in-a-bag set, pillows and a mini camcorder before calling Eric for help.
"We just redid our daughter’s room," she said. "And we could get bargains on a lot of stuff for her room here."
Manny Salcido didn’t need any specific reason to show up. He said it’s tradition to show up the morning after Thanksgiving to get an early start on Christmas shopping. At 4:30 a.m., he was with four boxes – all gifts for his family.
Leah Noland of University Place wanted to buy a mini camcorder, but the store had sold out before she had a chance to pick one up. Instead, she was purchasing children’s clothing and coasters. She’s used to shopping early, but not at 4 a.m.
"This is definitely about an hour earlier than I’m used to," she said.
Josh Fernandez arrived with several friends. The Tacoma man was in line to buy a fondue machine half an hour after the doors opened. It was his first early Black Friday experience.
"It’s pretty wild here," he said.