SUNRISE, FLA. (WSVN) - Shoppers from around the world came out by the thousands to shopping centers and large retailers across South Florida to take advantage of Black Friday doorbusters and all-day deals.
Bargain hunters at Sawgrass Mills Mall could be seen walking around with suitcases, ready to fill them up with the best deals Black Friday has to offer.
“They have like 60, 70, almost 80 percent off,” said one shopper.
The outlet mall, with more than 350 stores, is kicking off the busy holiday shopping season and everyone from locals to tourists are cashing in on the deals. Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, experts estimate about 69 percent of Americans will shop.
“We have the same thing back home, but obviously here things are a little cheaper, and I like Ralph Lauren,” said one woman.
Shoppers also flocked in large numbers to Dadeland Mall in Southwest Miami-Dade, where stores opened at 6 a.m., but committed shoppers were lined up outside well before.
“We are here early for the deals,” said Elisa Dean.
“After eating so much yesterday on Thanksgiving, now my cardio is shopping,” said shopper Monica Rodriguez.
While some shopped for themselves, others shopped to cross names off their Christmas list.
“Oh no, we’re doing it all,” said one couple from out of town. “We came for Thanksgiving and realized after we got here, we’re going to be in Florida for Black Friday – Sawgrass Mills, you can’t beat it, so we’re psyched. We just got here and we’re looking for all the deals.”
“I guess I don’t have a plan,” said shopper Anthony Spataro. “Just, everywhere.”
“I have so much stuff, I can’t even — my arms are falling,” said Rodriguez.
“I’m looking for clothes and electronics. I’m looking for the best deals,” said Robin Kovacs.
“Macy’s has a lot of good clothes on sale, so I got most of my Christmas shopping done today,” said Lupe Morales.
Officials said there are 11,000 parking spots at the Sawgrass Mall and they expect every single one of them to be filled. For that reason, some shoppers told 7News they dropped their cars off, Thursday, in order to get prime spots and took an Uber to the mall Friday morning.
Omne shopper said her shopping at Sawgrass Mills went smoothly. “I’t’s nice and relaxed. It’s not a push, it’s not waiting five minutes. You get in the stores.”
Dean told 7News that waking up early on Black Friday is a family tradition. “I come with my niece and my best friend, and my sister-in-law is visiting,” she said. “We come, we have breakfast, then we have lunch, then we go to another mall.”
“We just have fun. We come and we make a whole day out of it, we spend time together, we enjoy one another,” said Lupe Morales. “It’s fun. And then we leave the husbands at home and the girls come shop.”
Another family – the Shane family – said they went on a shopping spree like no other, beginning their day at Dadeland Mall, then to Dolphin Mall and Miami International Mall before finally ending at Aventura Mall. They even stopped by Best Buy, Target and Wal-Mart before venturing to Sawgrass Mills Mall.
This is a Shane family tradition that begins when stores open on Black Friday. “Shopping since 5 p.m.,” said Teri Shane. “This a routine that we do every year.”
But the Shane family said this is more so about family than shopping. “It’s really not even about the shopping,” said Teri. “It’s about being with my brother my sister in law my kids my nephew.”
Dadeland Mall officials said they expect their biggest rush of people at around noon, Friday. And if you want to avoid spending most of your time looking for parking, officials also said the mall is offering two valet parking areas.
“A lot of stores of stores that are doing the entire store 50 percent off, 40 percent off,” said Dadeland Mall’s Director of Marketing Lourdes Menendez. “True Religion is one of those, Bath and Body Works is doing ‘buy three, get three free,’ Coach is doing 30 percent off. A lot of the stores are doing something along the lines of up to 50 percent off, buy one, get one free.”
Shoppers said with online spending becoming the new normal, it’s still good to go out and do things the old-fashioned way.
“We have fun. We have girl time,” said Morales. “You need girl time every once in a while.”
“We have a good time with it. It’s just about having fun,” Dean said. “This is my day, nobody else’s. I tell my husband, ‘Don’t even think of me, don’t worry about me. It is Black Friday. I’m out of here.'”
Sawgrass Mills Mall will be open until 10 p.m., Friday, and will resume regular business hours on Saturday.
For more information on extended hours, click here.
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