GREENBURGH, N.Y. Yonkers resident Felix Hernandez was at the very front of a line of several hundred people who had gathered at the Best Buy in Hartsdale Thursday night hoping to snag Black Friday bargains.
Hernandez had been in that exact spot since Wednesday afternoon.
We're veterans at this, he said. We come every year.
Hernandez said he wanted to buy some televisions and laptops priced for less than $200. He said the long wait was worth the effort, although it was cold and tiring.
The crowd kept growing as midnight neared, with the line stretching around to the back of the building and across the parking lot to the street. Cars dropped off people and then tried to find a parking spot in the busy strip mall.
People who had been waiting for hours or more wore free Best Buy hats and scarves while waiting in the chilly temperatures. Customers waiting also got a free screening of the latest Harry Potter movie.
Inside the store, employees were busy getting ready for the horde of customers. General Manager April Rivera said they had been preparing for months.
The news of a midnight opening came as a surprise to us, but it's great for our customers, great for us, so it's a great opportunity to open at midnight and take care of our customers, Rivera said.
Customers waiting in line were handed tickets for coveted items such as televisions. Rivera said the store would prevent a stampede situation by letting a few people go into the store at a time.
We don't let the mob just come in, she said.
Unlike Hernandez, store employees arrived at 9 p.m. for Black Friday. Rivera said they try to take care of those eager shoppers who camp out for days.
They put out their chairs, we keep them company, she said. We tried to entertain them as much as possible.
Thornwood resident Dean Simkins had been waiting towards the front of the line for about six hours for a $200 TV that we're not getting.
We should have gotten one at the original point, but people have cut in front of us already, he said. They gave out tickets already.
Although he missed out on getting a ticket for his item of choice, Simkins decided to go for the next biggest television, a hard drive and some movies. Simkins said he comes out for Black Friday because of the cheap prices, but after this year he didn't plan to do it again.
It's not worth it, he said.
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