Shoppers pack stores for Black Friday sales
Thousands of shoppers from across our region pack stores today for deep discounts on Black Friday.
Robert Martinez spent more than 30 hours outside in the cold waiting for today's deals.
"This is my first year. I just came out cuz I wanna just feel the experience of being out there. I like it" said Martinez.
Late last night, hundreds of shoppers lined the sidewalks outside of stores so they could be the first to snatch up some savings.
"We're waiting to buy an Xbox 360" said William DeLeon, shopper.
"Either a television, or Xbox Kinect" said Carolina Vasquez, shopper.
"A laptop and TV" said Desirae Guzman, shopper.
Once the stores opened, the shopping frenzy began.
The Columbia Center Mall in Kennewick was packed.
"It was a stampede of people coming through the doors" said Kari Judy, manager of Apricot Lane.
Shoppers also filled Target in Kennewick and some say early this morning, it was tough to even get to the items they wanted.
"It was pretty hard. Way too many people right there at the store" said Ruben Meza, shopper.
And Best Buy in Kennewick saw a non-stop flow of people all morning and afternoon.
"This is the one day I live for, so this is the day of the year that I plan to come to work, and work all day, so I can see everybody" said Maria Pincheira, Best Buy manager.
And once again this year, electronic items are flying off the shelves.
Some of the top sellers this year are laptops, tablets, blu-ray players and of course flat screen TVs.
"I'm getting an iPad 4 for one thing, and a printer" said Bill Noce, shopper.
Many shoppers say waiting outside in the cold this year was worth it.
And some even say there's a unique educational value to the Black Friday experience.
"To tell you the truth, we don't really do Black Friday but we are giving our kids the experience this year. So, we're teaching them the art of combat shopping" said Jacqueline Arnold, shopper.
Most of the people we spoke with today say their Black Friday shopping experience was successful - even if they didn't stand in line for hours waiting for the doors to open.
The National Retail Federation estimates that holiday sales will increase 4.1% this year to $586 billion.
If you didn't make it out to a store today, you can catch some savings next week on Cyber Monday - that's when online retailers will have their annual sales.