It seems the Black Friday mayhem begins earlier with each passing year, and this year proved to be no exception. Last night, traffic on the highway to Woodburn Company Outlets was completely stopped, as cars inched their way to a parking space outside the mall…at 8P.M. While doors to the most of the mall’s stores did not open until 9 P.M., the gates were opened at 7:30 P.M., encouraging the most dedicated of Black Friday deal hunters to eat their turkey and run, or rather shop, after their Thanksgiving feasts.
Some of Woodburn’s outlet stores chose to open their doors even earlier to get a head start on sales, including American Eagle, BASS, and Claire’s, while others attracted lines outside as shoppers waited for first entry. While Ralph Lauren offered an extra 20% off their already 30% off merchandise, GUESS marked their entire store 30-50% off, including clearance. Van Heusen took an extra 10% off at check-out, and Osh Kosh B’Gosh boasted savings up to 75%.
But the Outlet Mall’s new Disney Outlet store was the first to fill capacity after opening, offering huge mark-downs on their character memorabilia and an additional 20% off at check-out. A “line moderator” directed traffic outside the store’s entrance, monitoring the number of shoppers allowed to go inside. As a fun promo, they also offered each guest a Minnie Mouse fan favor for shopping, which proved to be helpful while waiting in the long stuffy line, arms full of Cars playsets, Disney Princess dolls, and Toy Story cowboy boots.
Though, despite Woodburn Outlet’s large turnout, lines actually moved along quite quickly, considering the Black Friday tradition. The longest wait appeared to be at Carter’s, which only averaged out to a 30 minute wait per customer. It almost seems like the “express lane” compared to shoppers who waited in line for two hours at Toys ‘R’ Us across town.
The most notable crowd, however, huddled outside the COACH Factory Outlet, and seemed to grow by the minute. Contained by red velvet ropes, shoppers stomped their boots and rubbed their hand warmers into the wee hours of morning, waiting to get their hands on the latest designer discounts. Now, that’s commitment.
Still, are the deals worth staying up overnight for, considering Woodburn Outlets is keeping doors open until regular closing hours today? While it’s true that several door-busters have been snagged already, huge discounts are still available on merchandise throughout the stores. For those who are not naturally nocturnal, detest crowds, and hate waiting, now seems like an ideal time for some early holiday shopping that is fuss-free.
In fact, with all things considered, Black Friday proved to be fairly tame this year. No stampedes, trampled shoppers, or fist fights to be reported—simply good, old-fashioned, early-bird, or rather late-night stake outs for the best designer brands at the lowest outlet prices. Perhaps, staggering the deals from Thanksgiving night to Black Friday morning will help diffuse the typical crowds and control the pandemonium…If you’re willing to eat your turkey and dash, that is.