Abilene shoppers get early start on Black Friday shopping


ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The Black Friday shopping kicked off early Friday morning in Abilene, as Academy Sports and Outdoors opened their doors at 5:00 a.m.

Here, you could find Jamie Whitehead and her family looking to find the best bang for their buck.

For Whitehead, Black Friday shopping became a family tradition as far back as she can remember, going out for the first time when she was 13 years old.

“We’d get up every year, whether that’s with my in-laws or my family,” Whitehead said. “A 4:00 a.m. wake-up call for us.”

Even on early winter mornings, they would be perusing the aisles to find gifts for everyone in their family.

While Whitehead and her family were shopping, Henry Gardner, Academy’s operation manager, was helping customers and straightening out shelves.

“I’ve been here for eight years,” Gardner said. “I’m used to the Black Friday rush.”

However, it wasn’t always that easy. Gardner said that when he first started as a cashier, things became a blur and would get very hectic and stressful.

“It’s a good crazy,” Gardner said.

Now, he enjoys the rush and the interactions with his customers, especially when they are encouraging and understanding of the stressful work environment.

As Gardner turned his attention to another customer, Jamie and her family were snatching up dog beds for their dachshunds and chocolate lab, basketballs and fuzzy socks for their skiing trip.

Whitehead explained, though, that they are merely helping out Santa Claus and fully expect the man in red to make an appearance at their household this Christmas.

“Oh, Santa comes to our house,” Whitehead said. “He wraps some of the presents, but not all of the presents.”

Leaving their larger gifts unwrapped with a red bow on top, as a sneak peak for what’s to come this Christmas.

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