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Black Friday crowds smaller than expected

November 25, 2016 GMT

Friday morning turned out to be just right for shoppers who don’t like crowds.

The biggest crowds lined up for discount deals at major retailers when they opened late on Thanksgiving.

Shannon Little and her daughter Taylor Little went straight to the Fred Meyer store on Thor Street for winter boots.

“They were marked down to a third of the price,” Shannon Little said. She saw the deal in Fred Meyer’s flier. “We go every year. We started yesterday around 4 and hit Shopko, Walmart, Target and the Valley Mall.”

Both said they felt like they got better deals and had been able to save up more money for shopping, compared to last year.

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“Black Friday does start earlier and earlier,” Taylor Little said. “I didn’t sleep much overnight.”

Some stores had general markdowns like “all clothing 30 percent off” and that’s what lured Sarah Catherine Davis from Cheney to the Target store on the South Hill.

“You have to go to see what’s really marked down,” Davis said.

She wasn’t looking for anything specific but was hoping to find good deals on new clothes.

Dan Gutman shopped the modern way at Shopko. He’d ordered a few things online for pickup at the store and other items to be shipped to his home.

“Prices are the same online as in the store, it’s convenient,” Gutman said. He said he was surprised how few shoppers he encountered early Friday.

He was at The General Store when it opened, expecting a huge crowd.

“There was maybe 20 of us standing around when they opened and we just sort of walked in,” Gutman said. “I have not seen that many people out anywhere.”

Debbie Hamilton of Spokane was also at Shopko on the South Hill with a cart piled high with bedding, toys, books and Christmas ornaments.

She looked for marked down toys and was waiting for her daughter to return with a few more things.

“I have a set rule,” Hamilton said, laughing. “When the cart is full it’s time to leave - so it’s time to leave.”