[KHTS] – With the Best Buy on Bouquet Canyon Road set to open at 6 p.m. on Thursday evening to kick off Black Friday, a line has already begun to form.
Seven tents line the sidewalk outside Best Buy, but Canyon Country resident Jessica Valdez, first in line, said that this year’s turnout is mild compared to last year.
“The line is growing a little slower,” she said. “By this time last year the line was probably almost to OSH.”
Black Friday is still two days away, and Best Buy seems to be one of the only stores that already has a line.
Target on Magic Mountain Parkway opens at 8 p.m. on Thursday and will stay open until 11 p.m. on Friday. On the other hand, the Walmart on the Old Road opens at 7:00 a.m. on Thursday and will stay open through the night.
Valdez, 24, said Black Friday has become a tradition in her family. They’ve been participating for about eight years.
This year, she set up camp at Best Buy around 11:30 a.m. on Sunday to ensure that she would be first in line.
“That’s what we did last year, too,” she said. “We got here around the same time, Sunday morning… Two years ago I was second in line at this Best Buy.”
Once the doors open on Thursday evening, Valdez said that her family won’t stop shopping until Friday night, often stopping for only an hour nap late Thursday morning.
They plan to visit Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Sears and the Westfield Mall before calling it a day.
“We have it planned out so even when we go into Best Buy, each one of us goes and gets a certain item,” she said.
Several televisions, Blu-ray players and iPad Minis are on the top of Valdez’s shopping list this year.
“We usually get all our Christmas shopping done here,” she said.
Valdez is not alone. As many as 140 million people plan to shop this weekend nationwide, according to the National Retail Federation. Of those shoppers, 33 million said they would shop on Thanksgiving.
And with national companies like Macy’s, Wal-Mart, J.C. Penney, Target and Kohl’s planning to open Thursday evening, there will be plenty of opportunities to do so.
Because of the large crowds, the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station is encouraging shoppers to stay safe and be courteous. They offer the following Black Friday tips:
* Expect to encounter crowds and long lines. When shopping with your children, especially younger children, snap a photo of each one with your smart phone before heading out. If your child becomes separated from you, you will have a current photo and an accurate clothing description to provide to store security and law enforcement.
* Be aware of your surroundings.
* Do not purchase items from non-licenses solicitors in parking lots.
* Make sure valuable items are not left in plain sight in vehicles.
* Report any suspicious activity to law enforcement. If you see something, say something.
* Practice patience. Long lines can lead to short tempers. Expect to encounter possibly frustrating delays on major shopping days.
* Never leave your purse, wallet, cell phone or shopping cart unattended.
* Notify the credit card issuer immediately if your credit card is lost, stolen or misused.
* Beware of strangers approaching you for any reason. At this time of year, con-artists may try various methods of distracting you with the intention of taking your money or belongings.
* Commit random acts of kindness, and do whatever you know is right.