Hours after stuffing their faces with a Thanksgiving feast, thousands of shoppers at a Walmart in Chula Vista stuffed their carts to take advantage of some of the biggest retail bargains.
Throngs of people were in line at the Walmart at 75 N. Broadway to buy big screen televisions, tablets, toys and anything else that was on that Christmas list.
But getting to the giant retail store wasn’t an easy feat.
The parking area was so full that it reportedly took customers about 15 to 20 minutes to find a parking spot.
Store employees stood outside directing customers to get in line and, in an effort to control the crowds, security guards and store employees let a few shoppers in at a time.
On the ground outside the store were McDonald’s wrappers and Walmart ads, a sign that customers were at some point camping out.
Once inside the store shoppers were greeted by swarms of people rushing to get that door buster sale.
“People are rude and not considerate of others,” said Kindra Mejia of Serra Mesa.
Mejia, 27, said her shopping experience included shoppers rudely bumping into her cart on numerous occasions, and others stopping in the middle of the aisles not letting people through.
Mejia, a mother of three, was sitting in line to buy her children a Nabi tablet for Christmas.
She said she has done the Gray Thursday and Black Friday shopping for seven years. This was her second year shopping at the Walmart in Chula Vista on Gray Thursday.
Despite the crowds and the long lines, Meija said, shopping on the biggest retail day is worthwhile.
“The prices are worth it,” she said.
Mejia said she budgeted to spend about $800 on the night.
Alexis Fears, another Walmart shopper, wanted to purchase the Xbox One or Playstation 4 but her plans changed once she saw the line to get either gaming console.
“It was too long of a line so I skipped out,” she said.
Fears opted to get other items on her Christmas list.
She too expected to spend close to $800.
Fears stood in the checkout line, which wrapped all the way around the store.
She planned to shop at seven other stores once she was done at Walmart.
A security guard at Walmart, who refused to give his name because he said he didn’t know if he could be interviewed while on the job, said there was a lot of miscommunication between both employees and shoppers.
He also said he didn’t like having to work on Thanksgiving night.
On Black Friday at Westfield Plaza Bonita in National City, the scene was nearly identical.
It was a struggle for customers to find parking, there were tons of people, long checkout lines and plenty of deals. And it was raining.
But that didn’t stop Jorge Ramirez, 43, from shopping.
Ramirez was patiently waiting for his girlfriend outside Payless Shoesource with shopping bags from the Disney Store and Macy’s.
This was Ramirez’s fourth year making the Black Friday rounds.
“I like to go later in the day, I don’t have to wake up early just to find the good sales,” he said.
Ramirez has one piece of advice for shoppers: “If a store has an item you want on sale, don’t settle, chances are another store has even a better deal on that item,” he said. “Do your research!”