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Black Friday Notebook: Shopping pros at work at Target in Burbank

November 26, 2010 | 10:26 am

Burbanktarget When it comes to Black Friday, A.J. Castro, 27, knows what he’s doing.

The Burbank-based actor and several warmly bundled friends held down spots near the front of the line at the Target at the Burbank Empire Center. Calling themselves the “Fab Five,” the group had staked out their positions at 11 p.m. on Thanksgiving and had already mapped out the store’s layout and had thoroughly studied the ad.

One member was angling for an X-box console, the rest were going for cheap televisions.

“Women, children, it doesn’t matter,” Castro joked. “No one is standing in my way.”

Said his friend, actress Jenna Nickerson, 23, of Sherman Oaks: “You gotta attack it, you have to have a plan. We’re helping out the economy.”

Once doors opened at 4 a.m., James Cygan, 41, made a mad dash for the 44-inch Panasonic flatscreen television.

The Koreatown-based security guard for a medical marijuana dispensary also grabbed a gaming chair and a copy of one of the "Twilight" films for his daughter. The veteran of 15 Black Fridays had been in line since Thanksgiving night at 6.

“It’s usually a madhouse,” he said. “People get unfriendly really quick.”

When his son Alex, 17, approached through the packed aisles, holding a vacuum, Cygan was pleased.
“Good job, Alex, good job,” he said. “Now, get the bath towels and I’ll be really happy.”

But this is the first – and last  -- time Collen Funhaser, 57, plans to participate in the Black Friday insanity.

Waiting since Wednesday morning at the front of the line, her family brought her a plate of turkey on Thanksgiving. She was hoping to land a 46-inch flat-screen television for $495. Her grandson was waiting at Best Buy to score a Toshiba laptop for $189.

“It’s first come, first served -– served so that people are going to rush,” said the North Hollywood resident. “I’m wondering if we’re going to get stomped on.”


Move to downtown L.A. site right on Target

Retailers aim for a week of Black Fridays

-- Shan Li

Photo: Shoppers rush in at 4 a.m. to Target and head to the electronic department at the Burbank Empire Center for Black Friday deals. Credit: Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times