According to West Valley Mall Manager Michael Donaghy, the mall opened early at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving, Nov. 28, to try to alleviate the push-and-shove onslaught associated with Black Friday shopping.
“The diehard shoppers, whatever hour you open, they’ll be there,” Donaghy said inside the mall Friday morning. “It was a rush (at 8 p.m.). Folks here were carrying multiple bags and they were definitely buying.”
Businesses reported strong sales between 8 p.m. and 1:30 a.m., tapering off until midday Friday, when a second shopping wave arrived, he said.
Participating in the 8 p.m. opening on Thursday were half the mall’s stores, including anchor businesses Macy’s, Target, Sears and JCPenney, he said. Most of the other mall businesses opened at midnight.
Rue 21 manager Emily Maldonado, wearing a company T-shirt publicizing Black Friday sales, said her store saw a rush of shoppers between 9 and 10 p.m. after her store opened at 8 p.m. Thursday. Sales slowed steadily overnight until about noon Friday.
“I was disappointed, expecting a lot more,” she said inside her store at 8 a.m. Friday. “Sales were slower than last year. Last year, we just moved into the mall, and that helped us a lot.”
Another popular shopping spot on Black Friday was Carter’s at the Tracy Outlets, 1005 E. Pescadero Ave.
Inside the children’s clothing store, shoppers lined up between the back wall and the cash registers with armfuls of bargains.
Carla Fansler said as she waited to make her purchases that Carter’s was the longest line she had encountered since her shopping venture started at 6 a.m. Friday.
“This is my last stop,” she said. “It’s been very quiet, pretty easy. It was the same way last year.”
Sarah De Sousa, standing with her 4- and 5-year-old daughters, said she started her shopping at 8 p.m. Thursday at Macy’s in Modesto, followed by a trip to Tracy’s Walmart.
“I’m a bargain shopper,” she said. “Last night was not as bad as I thought it would be. Not what I expected. It was a normal Walmart (shopping) day.”
Sales at Carter’s started slowly, according to part-time manager Maria Flores, and then turned hectic by late morning Friday.
“I thought we would get bombarded with people, and we got the after-rush crowd,” she said. “Last year, we did $23,000, and we’re trying to beat last year’s sales.”
Yolanda Gomez, a first-time Black Friday shopper, was surprised by the crowds.
“I just started,” she said, holding her 8-month-old daughter. “I got the (Carter’s) coupons, so I decided to check it out.”
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