When the Exchange on Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., opened for business at 4 a.m., on Black Friday, Nov. 23, more than 350 patrons were lined up, some of whom had been waiting since 10 p.m. Thanksgiving evening.
“I’d call last Friday a success at our local Exchange. We had a great turnout. All 350 Early Birds, were in line for selected Exchange items, all tickets were handed out and redeemed,”said Mike Wiles, Edwards AFB Exchange general manager.
Shoppers came to the Edwards Exchange from near and far.
“I was told by some of the Exchange employees that we had patrons from as far away as California’s Central San Joaquin Valley. That’s quite a drive in anyone’s book to shop at the Exchange,” Wiles said.
One shopper, who would not provide his name as his wife would then know what he had bought her for both her birthday and Christmas (one week apart), said, “When I was on active duty, my wife and I started a tradition of coming to Black Friday here; when the Exchange was over on Whistle Ash Road (now known as Kincheloe Ave.). We’ve been coming to Black Friday here at Edwards for 18 years straight. Now, we live north of Yosemite Park. The drive is nice, and, while this Early Bird crowd here is larger than crowds I’ve been a part of out in town, it doesn’t get out of control as do crowds at other places. I really enjoy that. And let me not forget to mention that I’m not having to pay more in taxes than I already do.”
Some of the Exchange employees had come in several hours before opening time to put the final touches on Exchange displays for Black Friday.
“While the Exchange has great buys throughout the year, it was great to see it so busy here today,” said Brittany Power, Edwards Exchange administrative assistant. “I saw many shoppers leaving the Exchange with shopping carts full of items. That was exciting just in itself.”
Rachael Miller, Exchange hardlines manager said, “I just want to make this time of the year really happy for the Exchange customers; just as the song says, it’s the happiest time of the year. A happy customer means a satisfied customer means a great possibility for a return customer. That’s my goal.”