MARION, Iowa (KWWL) -- Black Friday looked different this year after nearly two years of a pandemic.
Menards stores spread its Black Friday sale over 10 days, which eliminated the sense of urgency around its typical flash sales and reduced the amount of foot traffic in the store at its opening.
The Menards stores in Marion and Cedar Rapids opened at 6:00 Friday morning.
But, gone were the long lines of shoppers at 2:00 and 3:00 a.m. that were typical of the years before the pandemic.
Ryan Holland is the general manager of the Menards store in Marion. He said about 100 people were waiting at 5:00 Friday morning, but mostly, in their cars.
While the retailer used to have sales run for the first few hours of its opening, this extended sale allowed people to shop without the crowds.
"Yeah, in years past, we would get pretty big lines, get a lot of people in the store and with us having lots of inventory here for sale and 10 days to get the sale pricing, there's not as much of a rush to get into the store and get your items on the first day," Holland said.
Wade Markley is one Black Friday shopper who liked that part of shopping. He found what he needed within 10 minutes.
"It really does make it easier for me. I was really concerned about long lines at check-out, particularly, and it looks like the lines are just flying through right now. So, I'm guessing now when I go check out, it shouldn't take too long at all to get through the line," Markley said.
Holland says sales were about as high as the pre-pandemic numbers but spread out throughout the day. Other big box stores also had a constant flow of customers going in and out today.
The global supply chain shortages have affected this year's Black Friday sales. At least at Menards, those savings will only be available in the store and while supplies last.
While the day after Thanksgiving is traditionally a big shopping day for large retailers, the Saturday after Thanksgiving is known as Small Business Saturday, where small business owners offer savings -- usually at a cost -- to build customer relations and boost the local economy.