What people were saying about area shopping on Friday:
Brittany Ledbetter - sitting on a bench, tired, in the middle of Aiken Mall: "We got to Wal-mart at 6 a.m. It was a madhouse. We heard a fight broke out over 27-inch TVs that were only on sale for a certain amount of time. My parents are in Belk now and then we're going to Augusta. I don't want to go with them unless I get to go to the stores I want to go into...We're shopping today because we can get Christmas presents while everything's on sale."
Betsy Fox - sitting on a bench, tired, in the middle of Aiken Mall: "It's exciting. And everything's on sale...at least you think it's on sale."
Jerry Wilson - waiting for his on wife at Aiken Mall: "We'll probably shop today and tomorrow, and probably a little Sunday. This is our first stop today."
Beth Overton - waiting on friend at Aiken Mall: "I went to Kmart, Target, Kay-bee, Belk...I still got Radio Shack and some other places besides the mall to go. I got up a 3 o'clock this morning and got to Kmart at a quarter to 5...Everybody's rude this time of year, but I had this one nice man at Target who didn't work there, but he was real helpful, he was helping me find stuff and getting stuff down off the shelves and stuff. He was a good man."
Marcus McKenzie - at Hibbett athletic store, Aiken Mall: "We opened at 6:30 (a.m.)...It's been okay. A lot of people have been looking for team jerseys and the Jordans (tennis shoes) that came out Nov. 23."
Amy McMahan - in a long line for the register in the tool section of Sear's: "(My husband and I) got up at 4 (a.m.) and went to Kay-bee here at the mall. It was a mad rush. We left and went to Target, then came back to the mall to come here to Sear's. It's been getting crazier in here...we couldn't find everything we came for."
Paul Morgan - register in tool section at Sear's: "We opened at 6 (a.m.) and it's been going very well. My register is about second highest in sales here. Tools are selling the most. Customers have been super."
Julie Yon - cashier in electronics at Wal-mart, Aiken: "Everybody's been wanting the Gameboy Advance, which we sold out of in 2 1/2 hours (after opening). We sold out of the 27- inch TVs in about the same amount of time. Everyone that's come through my line has been pretty much nice."
Lea Green - register in Lay-Away dept at Wal-mart, Aiken: "It's been chaotic. I had to get here at 6 (a.m.) this morning and people were already here with shopping carts, lined up for a long way, ready (to put items on lay-away). There was a woman who paid a man $5 to carry his TV so she could have his buggy."
Carolyn Holston - in lay-away line at Wal-mart, Aiken: "In the season that should be for giving, this has been a horrible time for people who are very selfish and cruel. And I literally was put to tears almost today. This is my second time in this line because I gave a buggy up; I walked away from by buggy because a lady just blocked me, she cornered me, I couldn't go forward, nor backward to get into lay-away. So I got here at 5:30 and I had a buggy full of stuff and I had to just give everything up and leave and come back later to re-shop for it. And I don't have everything that I originally had; I'll just have to settle for not having it because of the cruelty, I just could not believe that."
Jeff Carroll - store manger at Ross Dress for Less on Wrightsboro Road: "(Business is) a lot better than we thought it would be. I would say exceptional."
Interviews at Kmart Shopping Center in North Augusta
Naomi Palmer - a seasonal worker for the Salvation Army, working in front of Kmart in the North Augusta Plaza: "I believe everybody had a nice Thanksgiving yesterday. They're all cheerful today. I'll probably end up taking home four (shopping) bags by the time I leave here."
John Mathis - at Kmart: "Basically what we've come down here for is a computer and a couple of DVDs, clothes. All types of little stuff like that. It's going well so far. Just a few more stops and I'm going to be on my way back home. I've been out every since 5 this morning trying to make that madness sell. The way it's going, it's going to be a big one (Christmas). I'm already over - I've already spent over $1,200."
Faye Berry - leaving Kmart at about 10 a.m.: "I came to get a tree, that's all. I'm going home now. I hate shopping. I'll be purchasing toys and gift cards. That way they can come back after Christmas when everything's on sale and get what they want."
Joan Van Vactor - manager of Kmart in North Augusta Plaza: "I don't expect it to be any better or any worse (than last year). There isn't one big toy that everyone has to have. (People are buying) a lot of electronics and a lot of toys. Not necessarily large toys. It's (purchases) just all over the ballpark. There's nothing big that everyone wants."
Dionne Young - assistant supervisor at Hamrick's: "They (the shoppers) seem to be focused mostly on the sale items. Anything where they can save . . . a bargain. They want the bargains."
Compiled by correspondents Samantha McKevie, Joshua S. Heath and Vicki Marzullo
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