Brown Thursday Crowds Made For A Peaceful Black Friday

TOPEKA, Kansas (WIBW) -- We've all seen the footage from across the country - eager shoppers turning into angry mobs, stores becoming a circus, people fighting over towels - all on one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

Some shoppers in Topeka think the stores opening on Thanksgiving night, also known as Brown Thursday, did have a mostly convenient effect on Black Friday today.

If consumers were expecting fighting, yelling, and frantic running to snatch up the hottest new gadget - they got quite the opposite in Topeka stores Friday morning.

Shoppers said few cars were parked at some store parking lots and traffic was smooth-sailing.

The pandemonium usually associated with Black Friday - seen in recent viral footage from a North Carolina Walmart - was moved back a day, when stores opened its doors Thanksgiving evening.

"There was one point where we just couldn't move and it was kind of scary to be honest. People were freaking out," shopper Kylie Blythe said. She went shopping on Thursday, went home and got some sleep, then came back out early Friday morning.

"Seen a lot of crazy people," Allison Kearney said.

"There were people fighting, pushing, shoving, pretty crazy," Skye Roberts said.

Shoppers who braved the crowds on Thanksgiving and came back for another round, like Nina Jepson, had no problems Friday.

"It's better this year," Jepson said, "Last year we went through the entire night and it was horrible. Today everyone's at home sleeping, so we're getting right in and out of the stores."

"I feel like there's a lot less people," Blythe said. "We got to Kohl's at 6 this morning and there was not very many people there and we didn't have to wait in line or anything so it was nice."

But those thrill-seekers aren't liking the change.

"It kind of defeats the purpose of Black Friday," Roberts said. "I have to say I like coming at like, three in the morning instead of like, six o'clock at night."

The extra day, though, made for a more peaceful Black Friday than usual.

Blythe said she didn't see anyone get trampled.

Jepson said because of Brown Thursday, her shopping experience was much better because she missed the crowds.

"The crazy ones have already been there and done it!"

The Topeka Metro is offering a free holiday express shuttle bus. It takes passengers down Wanamaker Road from Huntoon to just past 21st.

Press Release:

Beginning on “Black Friday” (November 29th), Topeka Metro will operate a Holiday Express shopping shuttle along the Wanamaker corridor. The FREE shuttle will run up and down Wanamaker Road from approximately 11th Street to 21st Street, stopping at various shopping venues along the way.

The FREE shuttle will run from 10:00 am until 6:00 pm on the following days:

Friday, November 29th (Black Friday) – Extended hours 6:00 am until 6:00 pm
Saturday, November 30th

Thursday thru Saturday, December 5th – 7th
Thursday thru Saturday, December 12th – 14th
Thursday thru Saturday, December 19th – 21st

Monday, December 23rd
Tuesday, December 24th

The Holiday Express will pick-up and drop-off approximately every 20 minutes at the locations listed on the shuttle route map.
Buses are A.D.A. accessible.


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