At Lansing Mall, landscapers shoveled snow to clear a path for customers who have a reputation for coming early, coming in mass, and coming pushy.
Black Friday sales start as early as 5 a.m. and Meijer manager Brian McGillis estimates they'll see 2 or 3,000 customers before 7.
Meijer starts their season on Thursday with Thanksgiving sales, so the store knows what others will see Friday. They begin bringing in merchandise weeks in advance, and bring in a crew to stock for Black Friday at 8 p.m. They'll have double the number of staff on to handle the crowd with deals beginning at 5 a.m. Friday.
Those crowds are mostly women, and the best of them--McGillis and shoppers agree--come prepared. Many use the ads in the newspaper to map out their plan. Shoppers agree: come early, and come knowing what you want.