Even though it was barely past 8 a.m., some Black Friday shoppers were already resting tired feet in the McKinley Mall food court.
They were among the early birds in search of holiday bargains.
Some surveys have found that less than 30% of all Americans planned Black Friday shopping excursions. Ashley Burch of North Collins was among them. She began her quest at midnight. As Burch took a brief
break, WBFO asked her and other shoppers to pretend they were speaking at a seminar on savvy holiday shopping. What advice would they give?
"Look at the ads first. Because if you don't, you just walk in blind. You don't know where any of the deals are," she said.
But Burch's mother isn't convinced that early birds actually snare holiday sales.
"Stay home and go later," said Ginny Beatty. "Wait until the mad rush is done, because there's nothing out there that you're really saving that much money on."
West Seneca resident Michele Burger disagreed, pointing to a table crammed with packages she bought before dawn.
"We've saved quite a bit of money today so far," she reported. "That's the reason we go."
One shopper suggested that a successful gift-buying safari hinges on having a strong companion who can serve as a "walker," shuttling packages from the checkout aisles to the parking lot. Christian Bigham of Franklinville was playing this key role on Black Friday. However, he wasn't carting any gifts that he bought
"I'm a college student, so I don't have a lot of money," said Bigham, who attends Houghton College in Allegany County.
Shoppers who chatted with WBFO said they encountered no problems with unruly crowds. West Seneca resident Frank Mogavero said he started shopping "bright and early" by 5 a.m.
"Where we were, [shoppers] were really behaved. I was trying to lead everybody to charge and yell, but nobody would," joked Mogavero.