SIOUX CITY | In the last many years as Black Friday shopping became the retail rage, it has been highly difficult to find an open parking place at the Menard store in Sioux City prior to 8 a.m.
That scene played out again Friday, as several hundred vehicles packed the lot, and people poured in and out of the store at 7:40 a.m., less than two hours after Menards opened at 6 a.m.
Some people also spilled north across the busy Gordon Drive highway, which bisects the city east-west, to park and visit other merchants, such as Bomgaars.
Two women walking across Gordon Drive from Menards said they were too much in hurry to chat about their shopping. They kept going, then entered Dunham's sporting goods store.
At 7:45 a.m., Irene Rivas, of Sioux City, walked out of Bomgaars carrying her special purchase, a DeWalt drill that was marked down from $299.99 to $199.99.
Rivas said she had looked at an advertisement, and knew it was an item that was worth going out for. She didn't consider shopping at 7 a.m. too early a task.
"I started this morning at 7 a.m. at Sam's Club for TV's and Ninja Blender, and then we came here," she said. Rivas planned to make two other stops and be finished shopping by 10 a.m.
In the last few years, retailers have changed from having no shopping on the Thanksgiving holiday to becoming open on that day. Big waves of people arrived in Sioux City stores on Thursday to nab low-priced special items they bought for themselves and as Christmas presents.
Leading the way in Thanksgiving Day openings in Sioux City was Dollar General at 7 a.m. Later-day openings included Younkers at 11 a.m., JCPenney at 2 p.m., and Old Navy and Shopko at 4 p.m., plus many more by early evening.
Ten minutes before the JCPenney opening Thursday, the line stretched west from the main entrance, then back south on a street, with 344 people gathered. That number kept going up before doors opened.