Black Friday: Change of pace and payment at Toys R Us in Ontario
Five-time Black Friday veterans Ryan Fuerte and wife Jennifer Fuerte of Fontana arrived at the Wal-Mart in Duarte an hour before it opened Thursday night, planning to buy a $98 Sansui 19-inch flat-screen television.
That plan quickly went out the window.
“Everybody was huddled around the stuff they wanted,” said Ryan Fuerte, 37. “It was just madness. We couldn’t handle the craziness of the opening.”
Jennifer Fuerte, 36, blamed the earlier opening hours, saying that more people were out shopping because they never went to sleep.
“It wasn’t worth the waiting for the amount of money we were saving,” she said.
What ultimately was worthwhile was the couple’s Plan B –- going home to bed, then rising at 6 a.m. to visit the Toys R Us in Ontario, where they leisurely picked out three Nerf basketball courts priced down to $5 from $25 for their two children.
Employees were scrambling to restock the shelves and clean up the mess from Thanksgiving night, when the store opened at 9 p.m. and bargain-hunters picked the place clean of Skylander Spyro action figures and Little Tikes Little Handiworker Workhorses.
Rialto resident Wendy Cox, 35, was checking off a list marked with Legos, Transformers and “anything princess” for her four children, she said.
While he would enlist her mother and husband to help deal with the Black Friday crowds in years past, this time she shopped online at Bestbuy.com at 2 a.m. and went to the brick-and-mortar stores later in the morning.
"I came here with a plan," she said. "That's the only way to do it."
Upland resident Noelle Roman’s plan was to put away about $75 a week for gifts all this year to build up a $2,000 buffer and then buy presents only with hard bills.
Last year, paying off the balance of the credit she used for Christmas shopping was a five-month ordeal.
“This year I have cash and not a credit card,” said the 34-year-old, who was shopping for Lalaloopsy toys with her daughter. “If we can’t pay for it in cash, we can’t pay for it.”
-- Angel Jennings and Tiffany Hsu
Photo: Mario Tama / Getty Images