Black Friday draws crowds to reopened Galleria shops

Photo Illustration by: ILAF ESUF

After forking down mounds of food on Thanksgiving, some Americans immediately hit the sack, hoping to rest before an upcoming battle known as Black Friday. Determined, some stand in line, bearing the cold winds, and snuggling in blankets, all in hopes of getting a bargain on their early Christmas shopping.

The sales started as early as midnight in some stores such as Walmart and could last as long the next day. One of the biggest news in town was the reopening of stores at the Westfield Galleria mall, previously closed down due to the fire’s destruction. Black Friday marked the Galleria’s comeback with 100 out of 125 stores opening their doors to eager customers at 3 a.m. Parking lots were full and lines were formed outside Hollister and Abercrombie and Fitch, with customers ready to buy.

“It reopened most of its stores so I HAD to go and get new clothes, plus I am a shopaholic so it was a must,” senior Sasha Datta said.

All stores participating in the Black Friday event were decorated with bright sales tags inviting customers and bargain shoppers who tended to grow impatient at the lengthy lines leading to the very back of the store. More time is often spent in line trying to purchase the item than actually looking for it.

“I waited in line for two hours, I was close to tears, but I got what I wanted,” sophomore Noor Bhangu said.

Despite the lack of time sensitivity, the deals are usually worth the wait. Electronics are the most popular buys during Black Friday with prices significantly marked down. Flat screen television sets usually priced $500 were marked down to $200-$300 this year at Target. Even the Apple store had a few price cuts on their infamous merchandise, known for immutable prices. The iTouch originally priced around $240 was marked down to $208 online.

According to Datta, some stores with accessible sales were Love Culture, Wet Seal, Gilly Hicks and Forever 21. However, she did not care for JC Penney’s messy atmosphere since it was hard to shop and find clothes.

“I went [to Galleria] thinking I wasn’t going to find anything, but I ended up buying a ton. I was kind of scared because shopping on Black Friday can be intense and dangerous, but it was okay,” Humna Afzel said.

The large clientele attracted by Black Friday deals was previously known to be the cause of injuries, however this year the rate of injuries remained low. The fear of being hurt sometimes causes buyers to do their shopping online rather than at stores. These are the customers Cyber Monday, the big event after Black Friday, is targeted towards.

The month of December may focus on Christmas, Hanukkah and other holidays, but the month of November screams BIG SAVINGS.