Black Friday draws shoppers in

The promise of deals drew in both avid shoppers and first-time Black Friday shoppers alike to the stores Friday.

Estimates say 60 percent of people will do some holiday shopping over this long weekend. Black Friday is one of the biggest shopping days of the year, and the National Retail Federation expects holiday sales will increase 3.6 percent from last year.

Shoppers Cody and Marie Zimmermann were outside of Menards for three hours waiting for the store to open its doors at 6 a.m. They said it took “layers of clothes and lots of coffee.”

“I got here at 4:30 and there were people starting already,” Menards manager, Chris Thelman, said.

Some shoppers went out Thanksgiving Day, and stayed out.

“We’ve been out since 2 o’clock yesterday afternoon,” Marie Zimmermann said. “If you want to prepare for Black Friday shopping make sure to bring the tennis shoes for lots of running.”

It wasn’t just the hardcore shoppers hunting for low prices.

“I’m really not a big shopper to begin with,” a Tomah resident, Fran Hewuse, said.

Hewuse can’t remember the last time he went Black Friday shopping, but was out at Best Buy Friday braving the crowds.

“It was amazing trying to find parking. That was crazy,” Hewuse said. “And of course the lines, waiting for the cash registers, just long lines.”

But in the end, he said it’s worth it.

“I got a printer for my son, who goes to college up at UW-Stout,” Hewuse said. “It’s fine as long as I’m with my wife and enjoying the time. That’s all it is.”