Holiday Shoppers Hunt Deals | California Black Friday


 Crowds Jam Many Malls For Shopping Deals on "Black Friday"

By C. MacDonald

Black Friday turned into a shopping frenzy at many malls throughout California as shoppers raced to get their "early bird" deals while their electronic, clothing and toy items were still available. With an estimated 20% less stock this year in most stores, customers jostled through human gridlock to reach their targets, while both plainclothes and marked security watched to minimize store losses.

At the Kohls in Bella Terra, Huntington Beach, 30-45 minute morning checkout lines were common, inspite of the efficient store personnel that did everything possible to keep things moving swiftly. I purchased a pair of much-needed athletic shoes, saving over $30, thanks to the store sale and a sticker worth $10 off the purchase of anything over $20 that was stuck on a newspaper.


Even though the lines were long and weaved like a Chinese New Year's Parade through the store, I didn't hear any complaints, only how much money everyone was saving. Molly Evans from Provo, Utah stood in front of me, with her arms full of personal necessities as well as gifts for her family. The soon-to-be mother was beeming with her savings as was Conrad Whitechurch from British Columbia, Canada, who stood with his wife, Ella, behind me. They were bubbling over the hundreds of dollars they were saving by beating a special early sale deadline.


The well-behaved throng at the packed store may have given Kohls the nod as the most popular business in the mall. Coming in a close second was Bed, Bath and Beyond, which had a steady flow of people buying, buying buying.

The success at Bella Terra was echoed at similar shopping places: South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa, was full of festive shoppers; Stoneridge Mall in Pleasanton, had live music serenading the crowds as they lined up to enter stores; Valley Fair in San Jose had a packed parking lot with a constant circling of cars full of people hoping to get their share of the deep discounts; Hillside Shopping Center in San Mateo also was packed--one store official said, "We're bustling with business."

Well-known retailers like WalMart, J.C. Penneys, Best Buy and Toys R Us likewise had tremendous crowds. The CEO of Toys R Us said more than 1,000 people were in line before midnight at several of his stores, anticipating big savings.

"Hallelujah," said Bill Franks, a store employee at Glendale Galleria. "I've never seen such an Army of shoppers. They all seem to know what they want and where to find it. And they're very patient and pleasant standing in lines."

"Ring-a-ding-ding"--the cash registers at many places are making music that can only thrill retailers and the public, who have teamed up on "Black Friday" to give the economy a very much needed push. Lets hope it continues through the Holiday Season!

The name "Black Friday" was created decades ago, when the day after Thanksgiving became a shopping phenom, helping stores get into the "black" (become profitable).


Also See: Days before the doors opened for Black Friday sales, shoppers camped out for savings.






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