Black Friday: 5:00 AM in the Valley…

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On a whim, and because I had insomnia, I ventured out earlier this morning on Black Friday to check out the local scene in the West Valley, particularly at the Porter Ranch Town Center (located just off the 118 Freeway) and the Northridge Fashion Center.

The fascinating thing is that in both cases, traffic in the surrounding communities was absent, so I had no idea of what was coming until I got to both locations.

The scene at Porter Ranch was an exercise in organized chaos, as there were huge lines (several shoppers deep) outside Best Buy and Wal-Mart (which are neighboring stores). But Best Buy’s was particularly noteworthy, as it actually surged eastward past Wal-Mart and the other storefronts. There were at least two LAPD patrol cars monitoring the activity, and loud cheering when doors at Best Buy finally opened at 5:00 AM.

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I stuck around for a few more minutes, thinking that the scene was a candidate for The Consumerist‘s “Craziest Black Friday Place”, and from there, checked out the scene at the Northridge Fashion Center. The longest line was directly outside the Disney Store (which was already open) and Gamestop (probably due the news of more Playstation 3s and Nintendo Wiis being available). Meanwhile there were only a handful of people waiting outside Macy’s and just two people outside the Apple Store.

What’s the scene like in your neighborhood?

UPDATE: Mike @ Franklin Avenue was actually in that Best Buy line and wrote a report from the front lines.

7 Replies to “Black Friday: 5:00 AM in the Valley…”

  1. was going to the circuit city in northrigde at 5am except the lines were going to victory blvd! frys lot was totally full, and the northridge center was already having people fighting over parking at 5am!!!

    another sign of the end.

  2. Koga,

    Thanks for reminding me why I have changed my ways and stopped being a participant in Christmas consumerism.

    The small presents I purchase are done via the Internet.

  3. right now sitting down at Whittier Target, was at JC Penny nearby at 5. long line for this place that opened up at 6p. no melee observed, people were pretty orderly, toys and electronics are mobbed.

  4. Those goddamn helicopters hovering over the Glendale Galleria woke me up this morning at 5 friggin’ 30am! I turned on the news to see what kinda disaster was unfolding and it was just the goddamn news people filming the damn chumps standing in line for the friggin’ stores to open. Not for me! For me, I will be participating in “Buy Nothing Day” again this year, sixth year in a row. I encourage you to choose not to consume as well.

    http://adbusters.org/metas/eco/bnd/index.php

  5. I’ll be baking today–which means I’m *making* stuff, not buying stuff.

    :)

    Although I’m sorely tempted to go out with a camera & shoot photos of angry buyers fighting over toys, screaming at each other over snaked parking spots, flipping each other the bird in traffic, etc. We’re so easily reduced to disgusting behavior.

  6. best buy in west los angeles had a crowd of 250 people in front of me when i arrived around 4:15. after i was in the front there was a line of at least 100 or so at 5:25 and there was a consistent line of about that much for a few hours.

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