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Wayne Post
  • Shoppers flood Eastview Mall for Black Friday deals

  • With dozens of stores at Eastview Mall opening at midnight for Black Friday, and some even opening on Thanksgiving Day, shoppers hit the mall in the early-morning hours today to take advantage of Black Friday sales.

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  • With dozens of stores at Eastview Mall opening at midnight for Black Friday, and some even opening on Thanksgiving Day, shoppers hit the mall in the early-morning hours today to take advantage of Black Friday sales.
    Although Eastview Mall officially opened at 6 a.m., about 60 of its stores opened earlier, many at midnight. Sears and Target each opened their doors Thursday evening, and Old Navy was open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving, reopening at midnight.
    Stores typically open in the wee hours of the morning on the day after Thanksgiving that's named Black Friday because that's when stores traditionally turn a profit for the year. But Black Friday openings have crept earlier and earlier over the past few years.
    Despite the early store hours, not all shoppers headed to the mall soon after their holiday festivities.
    Chuck Viggiani, a Webster native now living in Alexandria, Va., arrived at Eastview at about 6 a.m. He had his eye on getting some deals at the LEGO Store, but wasn’t willing to brave the midnight rush.
    “I didn’t want to do any of the lines,” he said. “I enjoy Black Friday on Black Friday. As long as it’s not on the holiday day — if it’s after the holiday, that is fine, not opening at midnight.”
    Carla Cuppernell, of Farmington, who began shopping at about 4 a.m., said she enjoys the Black Friday atmosphere and goes shopping each year with her sister.
    “I do like to watch people,” she said, adding, “we normally have a plan. We have no plan this year. Our plan is always to have fun.”
    It is unclear how many shoppers were drawn to the earlier openings versus the traditional Black Friday hours, but according to an International Council of Shopping Centers-Goldman Sachs survey of 1,000 consumers conducted this month, about 17 percent planned to shop at stores that opened on Thanksgiving, up from 16 percent last year when retailers were testing the earlier hours. Meanwhile, 33 percent intended to shop on Black Friday, down one percentage point from last year.
    The National Retail Federation, an industry trade group, estimates that overall sales in November and December will rise 4.1 percent this year to $586.1 billion, or about flat with last year's growth. But the online part of that is expected to rise 15 percent to $68.4 billion, according to Forrester Research.
    —Includes reporting by the Associated Press

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