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Crossroads shoppers begin Black Friday strategy hours earlier (w/video)

By ALLISON MILES
Nov. 28, 2013 at 5:28 a.m.
Updated Nov. 29, 2013 at 5:29 a.m.

Gena Kuester, 11, of Victoria, center, talks with her cousin, Jadyn Barron, 8, of Sugar Land, outside Target in Victoria before the store's 8 p.m. Black Friday sale opening. The pair were first in line and had arrived at 1 p.m. to claim their spots at the front.

By the numbers

• 140 million: People who plan to shop from Thursday through Sunday

• 33 million: Black Friday shoppers who plan to shop on Thanksgiving Day

• 97 million: People who plan to shop Friday

• 34 million: People who plan to shop Sunday

• $423: Average amount Black Friday shoppers spent throughout 2012's holiday weekend

• $59.1 billion: Estimated nationwide spending for 2012's Black Friday weekend

Source: National Retail Federation news releases

Billions expected to be spent on Small Business Saturday

FROM A NEWS RELEASEThe United States Small Business Administration encourages people nationwide to shop small.

Small Business Saturday, a day dedicated to supporting the small businesses that anchor local communities and strengthen the economy, takes place this Saturday, according to a business administration news release.

"From the Main Street shops to the high-tech startups, small businesses are the backbone of our economy and the cornerstones of a diverse and thriving marketplace," Jeanne A. Hulit, the business administration's acting administrator, said in the release. "By shopping small and supporting local business, we all have a role to play in giving millions of families the opportunity to achieve the American dream."

America's 28 million small businesses create two out of every three net new private sector jobs and serve as the backbone of the economy, according to the release. Half of working Americans either own or work for a small business.

Through Small Business Saturday, a nationwide initiative, the money spent goes back into the local economies.

Small Business Saturday got its start in 2010, according to the release. Last year, almost 70 million people shopped small in their communities for an estimated $5.5 billion in sales to independently-owned small businesses.

For more information or for Small Business Saturday marketing tips and resources, visit sba.gov/saturday or smallbusinesssaturday.com.

Tweet to win

Crossroads shoppers hitting stores for Black Friday, don't forget to tweet photos, along with hashtag #VTXshop.

Your photos and tweets could be featured in an issue of the Victoria Advocate, and the best picture - as chosen by the editorial department - takes home a prize.

The deadline to enter is 5 p.m. Friday.

For more information, call the newsroom at 361-574-1222.

It was 7 a.m. when Edward Faxlanger III clocked out at Wal-Mart, exited the store and made his way down Navarro Street.

But though his workday had ended, his long day had just begun.

The Victoria resident traveled straight to Best Buy, where, along with his girlfriend, Jackie Ramos, he took the coveted space at the front of the store's Black Friday line.

The boyfriend-girlfriend duo was among the many Crossroads shoppers who braved the chilly weather to score post-Thanksgiving deals.

For Ramos, the 11-hour wait until Best Buy's 6 p.m. opening was all for one special item: a 55-inch LG flat-screen TV marked down to $499.

"I wasn't planning on doing Black Friday, but I saw the doorbusters," Ramos said, noting she was already on the hunt for a bigger TV. "And the price - they cut it in half. It's like $1,000. ... It's a steal."

Outside Kohl's, longtime Black Friday shopper Rosie Garza awaited the store's 8 p.m. opening with her daughter, Lizz Garza, a rookie in the post-Thanksgiving shopping game.

The two were after clothes, boots, items for the home and more, and they went in prepared.

"We went through the ads and know where to go," Rosie Garza said, adding they'd already made their way through Wal-Mart. "You've got to prepare. Get your coat, get your scarf, whatever you need to keep warm, and go."

Erminia Padilla and Raquel Trevino, a deal-seeking mother-daughter team, arrived at Sears about 5 p.m., three hours before the store opened and took the front spot in line. The first-time Black Friday shoppers were on the hunt for one item in particular: A Kenmore stove for Padilla.

"We're not hard-core Black Friday shoppers. Nothing like that," Trevino said of her and Mom. "I don't even go to the movies on the opening weekend because I don't like the crowds."

Still, the two said it was worth it for the store's deal, which would save Padilla hundreds on the buy.

And while Sears was their first and only stop of the night, it might not be their final foray into the world of Black Friday.

"I would do it for a refrigerator next year," Padilla said, clutching a blanket around her shoulders. "I would."

While some shoppers shielded themselves against the evening cold, others braved the elements head-on.

Victoria resident Sherry Hohensee, for instance, donned a sweater, but black flip-flops left her pedicured feet exposed.

"I always wear flip-flops," she said, waiting in line for cocoa and cookies outside Bealls. "Always."

Hohensee, an experienced Black Friday shopper, said she wasn't after anything particular but planned to shop for her children and grandchildren throughout the night, finally calling it quits about 6 a.m.

"It's pretty fun," she said of her annual shopping excursion.

Meanwhile, Beaumont resident Ana Carthers, who stood in front of the Bealls line alongside her mother, two daughters and a family friend, was after something practical. She uses Black Friday as a chance to grab up next year's winter coats for her girls.

"They're $17, as opposed to $50 or $80 regular price," she said.

Carthers might have been shopping for her kids, but over at Target, it was a kid - 8-year-old Jadyn Barron - who led the way in front of the line.

Jadyn, who was after a gold Nintendo DS XL, brought her father, Donald Barron, along for the ride.

"This was her idea," Barron, of Sugar Land, said, laughing. "I'm having fun because she's so excited."

The gold DS wasn't the only item the family was after. They were also on the hunt for a pink DS for Jadyn's sister. Another buy - a TV.

"That's for the whole family," Dad said.

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