Black Friday hit Burbank early this year, with shoppers pitching tents in front of the local Best Buy as early as Saturday to claim first dibs on discounted electronics.
As of Monday afternoon, seven tents were lined up outside of the Empire Center store. Fourth in line was Glendale Community College student Jessica Real, 19, whose family is camping out for Black Friday for the first time.
“That's how we bond,” she said, adding that her mother wants to buy a plasma television. “We go out on Black Friday every year.”
On Thanksgiving, Real and her parents will bring turkey and mashed potatoes to her brother and sister, who will be holding down the fort at Best Buy, which will open at 6 p.m.
“We'll all be here together at the end,” Real said.
The remaining tents were empty Monday afternoon because shoppers had just left their belongings to save their spot in line.
Robert Lepe, who was leaving Best Buy empty-handed with his son and daughter, said he visited the store Monday to scope out potential deals.
His son, Robert Lepe Jr., wants a Disney Infinity video game.
“It's like when you fight bad guys,” the 6-year-old said.
But you won't find the Lepe family camping outside the store.
“It's too cold,” Robert Lepe said. “I'd rather be home with my family than worrying about what I should buy.”
He'll likely swing by Friday at noon, when he hopes to snag a 60-inch television and save a few hundred dollars.
Others want to make sure they're as far away from the mall as possible on Friday.
“I've seen people getting hurt — that's taking consumerism to whole new levels,” said shopper Lisa Marroquin.
On the other hand, she added, “maybe it's their one chance to be able to buy something that they couldn't afford otherwise.”