The year’s Black Friday shopping doesn’t start or end on Friday.
Beginning Thursday and lasting through the weekend, people from all over Angelina County flocked to stores throughout Lufkin with eye-catching sales. By Saturday afternoon, the crowds were still going strong.
Academy Sports and Outdoors in Lufkin had several promotions for shoppers. Employees said some of the most popular items were safes, grills, trampolines and a buy-one-get-one deal on guns.
Sales associate Haden Terry started working at the store a little over a month ago. He said it “gets busier as it gets closer to the holidays, but overall it hasn’t been terrible.”
Coworker Miriam Madea said that she got to Academy for their opening at six in the morning Friday, and Terry closed that night.
“It stayed consistently busy,” Madea said, adding that there was a line out the door when she arrived that morning.
Shoppers Betty and Roy Spears came outto Academy Saturday “to get the littlest BB gun they’ve got for my 3-year-old girl. I start them out young.”
Sales associate Megan Barfield also was at work when Academy opened its doors for Black Friday shoppers.
“It’s still crazy, but this is the last day of our sale,” she said. Barfield described her experience working as not being too bad, and said that the store “did really good about managing how many people came in. They only let in like ten or so people at a time.”
Barfield also said she normally “doesn’t do” Black Friday.
“I haven’t shopped Black Friday, except for once ... so having to work it was really scary,” she joked.
Down the road at JC Penney, sales associate Jara Robins talked about the long hours she put in at the store over the weekend.
“It was crazy, but it was manageable,” she said. Robins came in at noon Friday after being at the store until 2 a.m. the night of Thanksgiving.
Robins said that she will be back for next year’s Black Friday rush as well.
“It’s fun, but it’s crazy at the same time. It’s fun to walk around and help people shop and just get to know people,” she said.
Also enjoying the shopping festivities were Debra Wendel and her grandson, Brayden Morris. Wendel drove in from San Augustine to shop both Friday and Saturday.
She got to Walmart at 5 a.m. Friday, followed by Bath and Body Works at 6 a.m. and then home by 9:30 a.m.
On Saturday, Wendel and Brayden came out to Lufkin together to celebrate their birthdays, which are on the same day. “We went to a show, and then I took him shopping.”
Brayden said that one of his favorite parts about spending his eighth birthday Black Friday shopping with his grandma was “getting toys.”