It was not the mad dash you see sometimes on television.
When the Target store in Walnut Creek opened its doors at 9 p.m. Thursday to kick off its Black Friday shopping spree, it was a quiet, orderly process.
Security personnel let people enter in groups of 15 with a minute or so in between. Inside the doors, store employees reminded people not to run.
In turn, the shoppers calmly took a shopping cart and spread out through the well-stocked store.
Outside, more than 300 people waited patiently in a line that snaked around the front of the store as the slow procession unfolded.
The first in line was Jimmy Castillo of Lafayette. He arrived at 2 p.m. to secure his slot.
Castillo said he doesn't have family in the area, so he didn't mind skipping Thanksgiving dinner. He spent seven hours in front of Target, listening to music on his iPod.
"I didn't mind. I wanted to experience the line," said Castillo.
The young man planned to purchase electronics and housewares at deep discounts.
"There are some really, really good deals," he said.
About 50 people back was Jill Spencer of Lafayette and her mother-in-law Sally Spencer, who was visiting from Florida.
They had arrived shortly after 7 p.m. They said they had expected more people to be in line.
Jill Spencer said she was hoping to buy some DVDs for prices as low as $4. She and her mother-in-law were also hoping to find some deals on housewares and other items.
Both of them said they were somewhat concerned about the criticisms aimed at Target and other stores for opening on Thanksgiving evening. However, they said people are not required to go shopping.
"You can chose to go or not to go," said Sally Spencer.
About 200 people back was Kimberly Carter, who arrived about 8:30 p.m. The Walnut Creek resident said she didn't mind the wait.
"There are some good prices," she said. "Whenever you go holiday shopping, you're going to have to wait in line."
She also said she was somewhat bothered by the Thanksgiving night sales. She thinks midnight openings are better. However, since Target was opening at 9 p.m., she wanted to be there.
The Walnut Creek Target will remain open for 26 straight hours until 11 p.m. Friday.