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Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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Student shoppers gear up for Black Friday sales

Black Friday: the busiest shopping day of the year, bringing out the best sales and the worst in people. Traditionally, millions of holiday shoppers nationwide head out during the early post-Thanksgiving morning to kick off their holiday shopping. With some careful planning, student bargain hunters can make their day on the town enjoyable and as stress-free as standing in line for an hour or two can be.

For students like Andrea Mullen, a graduate student studying social work, Black Friday is a holiday tradition to look forward to.

"I've gone shopping every year with my mother since fourth grade on Black Friday," Mullen said. "It's my favorite shopping day of the year. It's the sales, it's the tradition."

According to Sandra Hanna, a sophomore pharmacy major, it's important for student shoppers to keep in mind that on Black Friday, others don't act as they normally would, forsaking courtesy for competitiveness.

"It's a little overwhelming," Hanna said. "People don't act in a normal way."

Even those who don't generally look forward to an afternoon at the mall will be heading out to bargain shop, or to find holiday gifts for their loved ones. Ryan Flemming, a sophomore Spanish major, doesn't consider himself a shopper, but is planning to head out to take advantage of Black Friday sale prices. Flemming received gift cards for his birthday, and has patiently awaited the holiday sale prices before using them.

"My girlfriend advised me to wait for the sales," Flemming said.

Shoppers who will be venturing out to Western New York malls should prepare themselves for unavoidable crowds, long lines, heavy traffic, and in some cases, overall chaos, according to Christine O'Connell, a sophomore physical therapy major and mall employee. Shoppers need to have patience no matter what time of day they will be shopping, O'Connell said.

"The lines are ridiculously long," O'Connell said. "It's like that all day."

According to Flemming, almost every store in the area will be open for extended hours, including pharmacies. Inevitably, employees will have a stressful day, so treating them with courtesy and respect can go a long way towards keeping the day running smoothly.

"There are so many people without consideration for the workers," said Nicole Tucek, a junior communications major and an employee at American Eagle. "They completely tear apart the store."

Julie Beiter, a freshman nursing major and Target employee, finds that even with an increase in staff, this particular work day is very difficult for employees to handle.

"It's busy and messy," Beiter said. "I work in the clothes (department), and there are clothes everywhere,"

Flemming recommends students plan out their shopping plan ahead of time, as some sales only last for a few hours and not the entire day, especially during the morning.

"Make sure you understand the deals before you go out to avoid an unpleasant exchange at the register," Flemming said.

Mullen recommends scouring the advertisements from the week before Thanksgiving to find the best deals and make a plan for the day.

"The night before, we look through all the ads and plan our shopping," Mullen said. "I make sure to take all the ads to the stores because sometimes stores will give competitive pricing."

Dave Muniza, an assistant manager at Target, said that before the store opens, employees announce to the crowd outside where specific items are in the store so that people do not have to run all over looking for things.

"We'll open one door and the guests enter in a single file line," Muniza said.

Muniza also said that although off-duty police offers are on staff throughout the day, many stores announce to the customers before the store opens the standards they have for calmness, so that everyone can have a safe and pleasant experience.

Judy Sirianni, the general manager of the Eastern Hills Malls, said that shoppers should plan the shopping for the entire day, so that they do not feel rushed. She said to take the time to sit and enjoy the restaurants in the mall, such as Dave and Busters, and to enjoy the various entertainments found throughout the mall.

A.M. Buffalo will be airing live at the Eastern Hills Mall, as a fun way for shoppers to take a break and enjoy watching the show live and in-person. Sirianni said there will even be opportunities for shoppers to be involved in the show.

Betsy Bonvasuedo, the general manager of the Boulevard Mall, said that a lot of the stores will be offering incentives for the early morning shoppers. She also said that Black Friday is the kickoff to the mall's holiday gift services, such as gift-wrap, holiday gift cards, and a giving tree.

All of the malls will have a Santa for photo opportunities, according to Sirianni and Bonvasuedo.

"Black Friday shoppers pretty much have their day mapped out," Bonvasuedo said. "They have a clear-cut agenda that day of where they are going to go, and what they are looking for."

Both Bonvasuedo and Sirianni stressed the importance for shoppers to have patience and to be safe.

"Be safety conscious," Sirianni said. "Paying attention to what you are doing is the mist important thing you could do."

"The mall will be a safe place to shop," Bonvasuedo said. "We have plentiful security for that day, and security will be at every entrance, parking lot, and within the shopping center."

The Eastern Hills Mall will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00p.m. On Black Friday, the Boulevard Mall will be open from 6:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. The Walden Galleria Mall will be open 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.



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