A third of the mall’s businesses had opened their doors at midnight and many of the shoppers took advantage of the early hours to get their bargains, according to Mall General Manager Mike Donaghy.
“Between midnight and 2 a.m. it was very heavy and it started to taper off through 4 a.m.,” Donaghy said at the mall Friday morning. “The dynamics of Black Friday is changing. People were out in force after turkey.”
To ease the onrush of shoppers, Donaghy said mall officials decided to open the doors at midnight and let shoppers line up outside their favorite stores, which opened a few minutes later.
“We opened the doors and whoosh it was like a herd coming in,” said Lily Tran, manager of Aeropostale as she organized stacks of hoodies inside her store Friday morning.
Mona Lisa Alvarado said she thought the shopping was lighter than she anticipated around 7 a.m. as she looked for bargains inside Aeropostale.
She said last year she stood in the line outside of Walmart for two hours and then was was pushed to the ground by the rush of shoppers.
“Last year was scary, so scary,” she said. “It seems calmer this year. They should do (midnight) every year.”
One of the big items on Friday was a pair of Michael Jordan sneakers for $173. Several people stood in lines outside of three stores that specialize in athletic shoes waiting with tickets they had acquired on Wednesday. The tickets established a buying order for the popular footwear.
Crystal Trujeque was outside of Shiekh Shoes at 8 a.m. while her son waited outside of Foot Locker.
“Sometimes you wait all night and there’s no guarantee you’re getting the item,” she said. “At least now you know you’re getting the shoe.”
Jacob Baltazar, who was checking out his new sneakers with his two friends while sitting on a mall bench, said his purchase was worth the wait.
“I do it every year,” Baltazar said. “It’s fun. The rush and the deals make it fun.”
Frank Chavez said while outside of Shiekh Shoes that his Black Friday was crazy, but “you get some real good deals if you don’t mind the lines.”
Waiting on a bench with two filled shopping bags outside Macy’s, Sara Rose said she arrived at 7 a.m. with a friend and she was pleased to find the foot traffic at the mall was light.
“It’s quiet,” she said. “It’s nicer this way. This is my fifth year and you can save a lot of money. I try to do all my holiday shopping on Black Friday.”
The mall is scheduled to remain open until 10 p.m. on Friday.
Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 830-4225 or firstname.lastname@example.org