West Valley Mall general manager Gary Fields said many of his store managers saw more people walking in and opening their wallets than on last year’s big shopping day. Fields said people camped out Thursday night outside of Best Buy for electronics, and there were long lines early Friday morning at Target and Sears.
Fields talked about how he’d seen TV news reports suggesting that “doorbuster” sales for the day after Thanksgiving aren’t all they’re cracked up to be, and he was anxious to see what that would mean for his stores.
“We weren’t really sure what to expect,” Fields said. “We saw a lot more bags than I thought I’d see.”
Fields said his mall had attractions — such as gift card giveaways and a live show by disc jockeys from the radio station KWIN — to bring people in.
Ali Junaidi, who owns the men’s clothing store MJ’s Fashion in the West Valley Mall, said sales Friday were about what he expected. It was his first Black Friday as a shop owner, but he was pleased with the turnout. Junaidi said that any time a business can at least break even, it’s a success.
“What we are expecting, we are achieving,” Junaidi said.
Junaidi, who previously worked for Sheikh Shoes in the mall, said that while the Black Fridays in 2003 and 2004 were prosperous, things have been shaky since then. He said that he thinks the Tracy community does not fully support the mall, opting to shop in Stockton, Livermore or the Bay Area.
At Tracy Outlets on MacArthur Drive, another major shopping hub of the city, general manager Elaine Yager said the place was abuzz. At 6 a.m., when the mall opened, Yager said, there were lines outside the door at Gap, Oshkosh and Levi’s Jeans, among
“People still want certain brands,” Yager said. “We were cautiously optimistic because of the economy, but generally, outlet shopping has proven to be a good value for your dollar.”
While the major chain stores at the outlet mall had a good day, it was a little rough for some of the locally owned businesses.
Lois Fay, the owner of Fay’s Co., a sporting memorabilia store in the outlet mall, said it was the worst Black Friday she’d seen. Fay has also run similar businesses at the West Valley Mall and in Manteca and Modesto.
Fay said she figured business wasn’t so great this year because her store is one of the outlet mall’s newest, after opening earlier this month. She said she was optimistic that as more people get familiar with the store, sales should pick up.