By SCOTT WEISSER
THE GOSHEN NEWS
David Waddell has been a Kohl’s employee for 15 years, and a store manager the last year and a half.
This week’s Black Friday was Waddell’s second heading up a store. He marked the occasion, at the stroke of midnight, with around 700 guests.
Those were the folks massed outside the northwest Goshen retailer, ready to take advantage of in-store price breaks and — along with consumers nationwide — kick off the holiday purchasing period.
“Customers are embracing the shopping season already,” Waddell said shortly after 8 a.m. Friday.
Waddell said staffers at the Goshen Kohl’s had been prepping for Black Friday all week leading up the event. The retail quasi-holiday was also on the calender at Target, located in the same Goshen shopping complex.
“We definitely have this day marked, and have been waiting for it and preparing for it for quite some time,” said Greg Butts, a Target team head.
Kohl’s and Target were catering to customers on a quest for bargains, certainly. However, Black Friday often doubles as an opportunity for some pre-Christmas family togetherness.
“It’s more of the family outing than the great deal,” Goshen-area resident Stacy Horner said at the Target store. Horner was on hand with her dad, Terry Hendricks, sisters Kelly Schrock and Tracy Martin and sister-in-law Stephanie Hendricks.
“My daughters and I go every year,” Terry said of Black Friday, taking a break from pushing a cart. “I have seven grandkids now. It’s easier for them to pick out, and so we just go and get it all done (the holiday shopping) at one time.”
Then, in keeping with tradition, the Hendricks clan goes out for breakfast.
The family’s shopping experience started at 6 a.m. Friday. No problem — Terry’s daughters reported they have “the Hendricks gene,” meaning they get up early.
Early rising was also the order of the day for Kathy Munro of Elkhart and her family, including daughter and granddaughters Melissa, Autumn and Ashley Axline of Edwardsburg, Mich. They got up at 5:30 a.m., began their Black Friday at Kohl’s and headed to Sam’s Club. Target was the family’s third shopping stop.
“We’ll go ’til late afternoon, probably,” Munro said. “It just gets us in the holiday spirit.”
“It’s girls’ time,” Melissa Axline said.