Braving the weather for first deals of the season

HARLINGEN — Greg Gonser had enough time to check his Christmas list more than twice.

The 16-year-old was the first customer in line at Target yesterday, where early shoppers were in their winter coats and holding umbrellas.

One after the other, the line stretched around the building.

The sight was visible a block away an hour before the store kicked off Black Friday shopping sales.

Customers were looking forward to some of the best deals of the year.

“I was sent with a list to buy five 40-inch TVs, one 55-inch, PS4, Firestick and Amazon Alexa,” Greg said. “I’m just looking for some wireless Beats, personally.”

He said the wireless Beats headphones used for listening to music and receiving phone calls are selling for $89. Normally, they are $200.

“I’m going to roll in there with a shopping cart and pop in everything I need,” Greg said.

He said the 40-inch TVs are going for $140.

“This place is very calm,” Greg said about the people waiting in line to go shopping.

He was not the only one there for TVs, but he made sure he was the first in line when Target opened yesterday.

And to make sure he could buy the four flat screen TVs for his mom and Beat’s wireless headphones to work out in, he camped out near the Target entrance for more than 24 hours with his friends.

“My mom dropped me off at 3 p.m. on Wednesday,” Greg said.

And it wasn’t the first time he has done this.

“My mom asked me to camp out last year and I would get an extra Christmas present,” Greg said. “I did it for the extra present, but last year we were not first in line.”

Not until noon yesterday did more people begin to arrive at Target to stand in line.

At 9 a.m. yesterday only about 10 people were in line.

But by 4:30 p.m., the line had grown to more than 200 people and had started wrapping around the building.

Ethan Villanueva, 12, a San Benito resident, was in line with his two cousins.

Ethan said he had $90 in his pocket and was ready to find the new Call of Duty and NBA 2K18 video games.

His cousin Ashlee Hernandez, 16, was there also to buy TVs and shop for family Christmas presents.

“We took our time enjoying Thanksgiving at home, and then we were dropped off,” Ashlee said. “It’s our first time coming to Target for Black Friday and we wanted to see all the deals.”

Holiday shopping

By the numbers

• Belk, JCPenney and Stage are 2018’s Best Stores for Black Friday, offering an average discount of at least 62.1 percent.

• Over 10 percent of items will be more expensive on Black Friday than they currently are on

• Jewelry will offer the most value on Black Friday 2018 relative to their current prices, while computers & phones are expected to be the least rewarding deals.

• 35 percent of people plan to spend more than $500 on holiday shopping in 2018 (vs. 33 percent last year), according to WalletHub’s 2018 Holiday Shopping Survey.

• Disney, iTunes and Visa top the list of 2018’s Best Gift Cards.

• Consumers can save $500+ with one of 2018’s Best Credit Cards for Holiday Shopping.

Source: WalletHub