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Black Friday shoppers flock early

Heidi Shaffer / Forum Communications Co. LCD TVs and other electronics were hot items on Black Friday at Target.

FARGO -- It might have still been Thanksgiving, but it was looking a lot like Christmas late Thursday night in southwest Fargo.

Mild weather and early opening times prompted Fargo Black Friday shoppers to wait in line Thanksgiving Day to hit the stores in full force at midnight.

By midnight, the line to get into the Fargo Target stretched around the east side of the store and south through the Arby's and Treasure Island Parking lots.

Cherie Schumacher of Hope, N.D., traveled to Fargo with her two grown children to purchase a couple of LCD TVs on sale for almost half-price.

Schumacher got in line at about 3 p.m. Thanksgiving day, and the evening meal wasn't all that traditional.

"We called Pizza Hut to deliver," she said. Directions for the delivery driver were easy enough since Schumacher was first in line.

Electronics seemed to be the big-ticket item on most shoppers' lists Friday, and they went fast once the doors opened.

In less than 10 minutes of the doors opening, Target's 46-inch Westinghouse LCD TVs selling for $298 were gone.

Shoppers in line at West Acres in Fargo for the mall's 31 stores opening at midnight reported that electronics, such as laptops and TVs, were gone almost immediately for Walmart's 10 p.m. opening.

"Everything was gone, and we're pretty aggressive shoppers," said Karla VanRaden, who drove from the Dilworth Walmart to Fargo for the midnight Herberger's opening.

More than an hour after Fargo Best Buy's midnight opening, consumers were reporting that many of the midnight doorbuster deals could still be found.

Ross Jacobs' spot in line was all the way in the Savers parking lot before Best Buy opened, and he wasn't sure he would get everything he came for. But by 1 a.m., Jacobs, of Harwood, was in line to pay for an iPad, PlayStation 3 and all the other items on his list.

The initial midnight rush slowed somewhat as the early morning hours wore on, but many consumers started lining up soon after, waiting for the second round of openings.

Many shoppers said they were glad stores decided to open early this year because it gave them more time for shopping.

Even as traffic slowed somewhat at Target and the mall, some shoppers were ready to pull an all-nighter.

Tammy Amundson of Manitoba makes a yearly trek to Fargo just for Black Friday. By 4 a.m., when many of the first stores were just opening last year, Amundson said she was exhausted but determined to make it through another three stops.

Cheryl Hadaller, another Canadian shopper, was making her second stop at West Acres by 5 a.m., with another few to go.

Hadaller said she thought stores were busier this year, possibly because of the earlier openings. But there was a consolation to the crowds.

"You can go relax sooner," she said.

Heidi Shaffer is a reporter at

The Forum of Fargo-

Moorhead, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.