A crowd of people rushed into J.C. Penney at 4 a.m. Friday to take advantage of Doorbuster sale items marked down as much as 75 percent.

    "It was pretty packed, and people were just rushing," said Edith Renteria, a J. C. Penney employee who started her shift at 2 a.m.


     A crowd of people rushed into J.C. Penney at 4 a.m. Friday to take advantage of Doorbuster sale items marked down as much as 75 percent.
    "It was pretty packed, and people were just rushing," said Edith Renteria, a J. C. Penney employee who started her shift at 2 a.m.
    Retailers in Dodge City attracted Black Friday shoppers with enticing markdowns, free gifts and other incentives, such as discounts on future purchases.
    People headed to J.C. Penney for deals on coats, jewelry and sleepwear. Other Village Square Mall stores, like Stage, slashed prices on similar items to boost sales throughout the holiday weekend.
    At Payless Shoesource, buyers caught BOGO fever as they bagged already discounted shoes with a buy one, get one for half off sale.
    Customers who spent more than $40 at Bath and Body Works walked away with free VIP bags filled with lotion, body wash and other items.
    Even though the Doorbuster merchandise at J.C. Penney was on sale until 1 p.m., Renteria said the crowd started slowing down around 11 a.m.
    While many customers began their shopping before dawn, Barbara Brown from Gate, Okla., arrived at the mall at 10 a.m.
    Brown said sales at J.C. Penney and other stores on winter clothing and home decor motivated her to come to Dodge City.
    "They have a lovely mall, and we like to come here when we can," Brown said. "Penney's and Stage have the most deals. I got exactly what I came for."
    But like many shoppers in the mall, Brown was ready to call it quits by noon.
    "I'm ready to stop and go get a cup of coffee," she said.
    Across town, Wal-Mart still had a steady stream of customers in the afternoon. That store's sale began at 5 a.m., with many people arriving early to snatch up flat-screen televisions whose prices were rolled back by $100 or more.
    Other shoppers flocked toward low-priced items such as $8 jeans, $4 kids' pajamas and sweatshirts, and movies for as low as $2.
    "I've been here three years, and it was the busiest we've been," said store manager John Ostrom.
    Ostrom said the long morning lines had tapered off by early afternoon, but they were still busier than previous Black Fridays, with toys and electronic items flying off the shelves.
     
    Reach Cherise Forno at (620) 408-9931 or e-mail her at cherise.forno@dodgeglobe.com.