Shoppers showing up outside stores for pre-Black Friday deals

DANIA BEACH, Fla. – Continuing a trend from last year’s pandemic closures, many big box stores didn’t open on Thanksgiving. But for those that did open, shoppers were ready.

At Game Stop in Hollywood, people lined up early Thursday morning despite the store scheduled to open at 5 p.m. Many said they were hoping to get their hands on limited quantity items like a Playstation 5.

One woman said she was waiting at Game Stop because she wanted her 7 year old to be the “luckiest 7-year-old in the world.”

She said she counted 9 people in line and she knew there were 22 Playstations available at that particular Game Stop, so she was feeling hopeful that she’d be successful in nabbing one.

Brandsmart USA locations in South Florida also opened on Thanksgiving Day touting major deals for those who came to shop in the store on everything from appliances to big-screen televisions.

Bobby Johnson, the COO of Brandsmart, said that they were beefing up staffing to help with the holiday rush. “We were up until yesterday hiring and getting people through orientation and it was a nail biter.”

It was an unusual Black Friday eve. No chaos. No hype. Not even the typical long lines outside Brandsmart in Dania Beach.

“Cause I think more people do the online shopping,” said Deborah Whylly.

People lined up at Brandsmart in Dania Beach before doors opened at 4 p.m., many of them with specific items in mind.

One shopper said he was waiting for the Halo Xbox edition. “Apparently not a lot of people know about it yet. There were about 200 people camped out at Best Buy, so this is pretty good.”

Shopper Deborah Whylly said she waits each year for Black Friday for the deals on televisions and electronics.

“I’m from the Bahamas. I always come on Black Friday,” she said.

And for all the talk about backed up inventory, it clearly wasn’t an issue for those we met, telling us they found what they were looking for.

About the Authors:

Amy Viteri is an Emmy Award-winning journalist who joined Local 10 News in September 2015. She's currently an investigative reporter and enjoys uncovering issues facing South Florida communities. A native of the Washington, D.C., area, she's happy to be back in South Florida, where she earned a masters degree at the University of Miami.

Michelle F. Solomon is the podcast producer/reporter/host of Local 10's original, true crime podcast The Florida Files and a digital journalist for Local She has a bachelor's degree from Emerson College, Boston, and a master's degree from SUNY-Empire State.