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Area shoppers flock stores on Black Friday
November 29, 2017

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Black Friday went off without a hitch for Walmart shoppers in North Fort Myers.

That is what shoppers said outside the store Friday as they came in and out, looking to get their holiday shopping done as quickly and cheaply as possible.

Of course, Black Friday has become a misnomer. Many stores opened Thursday evening, with still more holding sales that started Monday. The result (coupled with all the online shopping that was done) was fewer customers flocking to the big boxes.

Derrick Stone, of Cape Coral, came out to check out the best deals on TVs, which seemed to be selling like hotcakes when watching several customers walk out with them. He has taken an "all of the above" approach.

"We usually go out on Black Friday. There are usually a few things we need to get and Walmart has a little of everything," Stone said. "We also do Cyber Monday and have Amazon Prime so it ships for free."

Stone, who usually goes out on Thursday, said he didn't this year because he hosted Thanksgiving dinner. While he didn't anticipate finishing Friday, he also doesn't anticipate wrapping up on Christmas Eve at 5 p.m., either.

Meanwhile, Melanie and Brianna Underwood, of Cape Coral were already making a return, exchanging a giant lion stuffed animal for a bear, and hoping to get shopping done.

"We went shopping Thursday and got in and out pretty quick because we came early. We were lucky," Melanie said. "We'll probably pick up some more toys for Aviana."

Aviana, 17 months, already got a glimpse at what she was getting as her presents were in full view.

"We hope she forgets them before Christmas. The attention span is still short at that age," Brianna said.

Lisa Devita brought her two boys. She had gone shopping on Thursday and got much of her shopping done.

"I went to another Wal-Mart that was dead, so I was able to get everything I needed and get out. This one was also pretty quiet," Devita said. "I also went to Kohl's and got in and out in five to 10 minutes. I got a doorbuster that I wanted and got out. I got $45 in Kohl's cash."

Ernesto Marin and his wife came from Venezuela for vacation and made sure they got all their Christmas shopping done before they came here.

"It's not that busy. I haven't seen that many people. I saw more shopping on Wednesday. We're leaving on Sunday, so we're getting the last of our shopping done today," Marin said.

Cathy Cook, of North Fort Myers, said she had started shopping before Friday, and didn't go near the shops on Thanksgiving nor did she shop online.

"I'm not in the mood yet. It's been very slow at the places I've been to, probably because Black Friday has gone on for a week," Cook said.

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