KENTWOOD (WZZM) -- JCPenney is one of the last department stores left maintaining the tradition of opening on Black Friday morning.
For Sheila Cook of Grand Rapids, JCPenney was her first stop.
"I didn't feel like being with the crowds. This is a much smaller crowd," she said.
Cook's other reason for waiting until Friday morning to shop was to honor a Thanksgiving tradition.
"It's very important because I have parents that are still alive, my mom and dad, and brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews, so it was very important, especially my parents," she said.
Managers at JCPenney said that's the sole reason they decided to stick with their normal Black Friday opening time, despite increasing pressure to open earlier.
"We wanted to give back to America's traditional Thanksgiving holiday, which is allowing our customers and our team members the opportunity to really enjoy the day and enjoy family," explained store leader Karen Bowyer.
In Woodland Mall, 70 percent of the stores opened at midnight.. Miki Hendrick of Sparta, who was among the nearly 600 people who waited for JCPenney's to open, wasn't happy the department store decided to wait.
A Woodland Mall spokesman said thousands of people packed into the mall right at midnight.