With many stores opening Thanksgiving Day, shopping on Black Friday isn’t exactly what it used to be.

But that doesn’t stop some people from dealing with sleep deprivation, standing in long lines for hours and getting swallowed up in huge crowds of shoppers, all in the name of a great deal.

Black Friday is one of the busiest shopping days of the year and is so named because it’s the point at which retailers often begin to turn a profit, going from the red to being in the black.

Seymour native Margaret Wilson traveled from West Virginia to spend time with family and friends on Thanksgiving. While in town, she decided to do a little shopping.

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Arriving at JCPenney around 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Wilson said she had no problems getting in and out, picking up a couple of fleece shirts for $10 and a pair of jeans for $15.

“The masses were pretty much gone and I only stood in line for seven minutes,” she said.

The store opened at 3 p.m. Thursday, and those customers first in the doors were eligible for a special coupon giveaway for up to $500 off. There also were spotlight deals on small appliances, towels, jewelry, boots, Nike shoes and apparel, clothes and toys.

Jean Jones, general manager, said she was excited about the number of shoppers out Thursday and Friday.

“Our staff says this is the largest crowd we’ve had in years,” Jones said. “The line went from the door, all the way down the sidewalk of the shopping center.”

But Jones said customers were patient and in a good mood, making it a lot better to have to work on Thanksgiving Day.

“Everybody was pretty pleasant and polite,” she said. “I handed out bottles of water and talked with them as they waited. And many thanked me for coming out and being open on Thursday.”

Jones said her staff did a great job of helping make people’s Black Friday shopping experiences fun and worthwhile.

“My staff was outstanding,” she said. “They knew what to do and they did it fast.”

Although the store sold out of some items Thursday and Friday, Jones said customers need not worry about being able to get them. Hot items included shoes, Keurig coffee machines and fine jewelry, she added.

“We are constantly restocking, so everyone can find what they want,” she said.

Jenny Montgomery of Seymour said she is not typically a Black Friday shopper but wanted to pick up a pair of boots at Goody’s for her daughter.

Like JCPenney, Goody’s opened Thursday which meant crowds weren’t as bad Friday, Montgomery said.

“They really do have good deals,” she added.

Christina Ritz of Vallonia was out shopping with her sister, Kim Stucker, on Friday. They already had been to Home Depot and Walmart.

“It’s kind of a tradition, but we don’t do Thursday, just Friday,” she said. “I have 11 grandchildren, so we’re out looking for deals. You can’t not look for deals with that many.”

Ritz said the day had been successful.

“We found quite a bit. The shopping has been good today, not crowded and everybody’s friendly.”

Kaitlin Weissert of Seymour said she went to Walmart on Thursday to get the big presents for her kids, and on Friday, she was out just browsing for deals.

This was the third year Weissert said she’s participated in Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday shopping.

“Walmart was crazy, but it’s a lot of fun,” she said.

The only thing she wasn’t able to get was Hatchimals, which are furry little interactive creatures that hatch from an egg.

“You aren’t going to have much luck finding those this year,” she said.

Vickie Hurley of Seymour said the longest she had to wait while shopping was at Bath and Body Works at FairOaks Mall in Columbus on Thursday.

“Stood in line an hour and a half. Got there a little before 10 and left at midnight,” she said.

Sara Gregory of Seymour said she had a better experience at Bath and Body Works.

“It was about 8 p.m. when we got there. Stood in line for about 30 minutes,” she said. “We saved over $200, so not too bad.”

Other people say they avoid the craziness of Black Friday shopping altogether, and can get just as good of deals by staying at home and shopping online.

Nancy Franke of Seymour said getting Black Friday deals online takes the stress out of the holidays.

“Online is the greatest way to go,” she said. “All the deals can be snagged with a click of a mouse, no standing in line and the items are delivered to your door.”

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Aaron Piper is a photographer and reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at apiper@tribtown.com or 812-523-7057.