ST. CHARLES, MO (KTVI)-Many stores are open right now and some have been open for hours in an attempt to get a jump on holiday shopping. And the race was on at Bass Pro Shop in St. Charles, Mo.
Bass Pro Shops opened at 5 a.m. on Black Friday with one of FOX 2’s / News 11’s own in line since 4 a.m.
“I’m here because I’m crazy,” Dan Gray was standing with his stepson and neighbor. ”Somehow they roped me into coming here because they want some hunting gear, and some winter gear, and stuff like that.”
The temperatures were in the 40s. Even with an estimated thousand people – minimum -- in line, Gray could not warm up. So, he made a humble plea.
“If anyone who has any coffee wants to come out. We’d love it,” he offered. “Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts?”
Rick Leach sat on a bench just outside the front door. He shared the first place in line with three of his closest friends starting at eight on Thanksgiving night. But, that coveted position came with a price. They fell asleep on the ground. Staff said they had to step over the men to get into Bass Pro. Leach said he could not risk reliving Black Friday 2011.
”We were second in line here last year here at Bass Pro. We were second to an old lady who beat us here at, like, 3 o’clock,” he said, shivering. “We got here first. So, we’re pretty excited.”
Once the doors finally opened, hundreds of customers headed straight for the back of the store. The vast majority of the sale items sat under three outdoor tents. For the customers, Black Friday is about the deals. But for economists, Black Friday is about jobs.
”We hired roughly 70 people for seasonal help, and we have what we call a PACE Program that brings back employees that have to go back to school,” said store general manager Bob Brownlee. “So, we have a solid staff here. It makes my job pretty easy.”
Brownlee said of his 300 employees, 45 have been with the store the entire 12 years Bass Pro has been in St. Charles.