GRANDVILLE, Mich. (WZZM) -- Dedicated shoppers started packing West Michigan malls and stores as early as 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving, leading to a smaller crowds at some retailers this Black Friday.
The line at the Walker Best Buy at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving was a stark contrast to the empty sidewalks and near empty store at the Meijer on 28th Street, 12 hours later. Meijer's doorbusters became available at 6 a.m.
"That's how Target was too, very empty," said Samira Teaker, who was shopping with her family on Friday. "Last year was tons of people, all the time. Open to close, it was just line after line after line. "
Teaker and her family were among the few people searching for deals inside Meijer at 5 a.m. on Friday.
But it was a completely different story at Cabela's in Grandville. The store stalled its deals until Black Friday, and loyal customers were willing to wait.
"[I] came from Indiana, " said one woman, who was shopping for her husband.
Cabela's Manger Randy Rice said people started camping out at 4 p.m. Thursday, ready for a chance at the giveaways, which included binoculors, a rangefinder and a $400 GoPro camera.
"We're hunters, so if you have the warm clothes, you can last outside," said one shopper. "I've never done the Black Friday thing."
"First time out," added another man.
But after Meijer, Taeker was ready to go home. Meijer was her 30th store in 11 hours. Taeker wonders if the extra early openings impacted Black Friday business. But she's not complaining.
"It's nice to not be stampeded by people."