It’s not quite mall madness, but a heck of a lot of people are willing to sacrifice a good night’s sleep to see what’s happening at South Hills Village today.
The mall opened at 4 a.m. to dole out Black Friday specials to eager shoppers, but some stores opened at midnight.
“This is a good crowd for this time of the morning,” said Jennifer Carroll at about 5 a.m. “It’s comparable, if not more people than last year.”
Carroll, director of marketing and business development at South Hills Village, said she thinks the nice weather, convenience of the indoor mall and great sales all influenced people to come out on Black Friday. Apps for smart phones, tiered sales and performances are part of the day.
“People really strategized this year,” she said.
Store managers say this has been a good year, too.
Carrie Shoberg, assistant manager at Build-A-Bear, said her store isn’t your typical Black Friday stop, but she opens early every year anyway. The store has pre-stuffed animals today, which she said is an easy Christmas gift for the mom-on-the-go to pick up.
“As in all past years, the first hour is busy, then we stand around and sing Christmas carols,” Shoberg said.
Shoberg got some of her own shopping in, too – she was in the mall at midnight – a full three hours before Build-A-Bear opened – to check out the deals.
Marion Austin, assistant manager at Brookstone, said her experience today has been similar. Brookstone features special sales from 4 a.m. to noon, and sales and “best buy” bins throughout the day.
“We were busy right at 4 a.m. when we opened,” Austin said around 6 a.m. “Right now it’s kind of quiet, but it comes in waves.”
And, after everyone has had their fill of super shopping, they seem to be hitting up the same place on the way out – Pittsburgh Steelers Sideline Store.
Part-time manager Dustin Obuchowski said the store has been busier than usual, for both a Black Friday and a normal shopping day. Everything in the store is 20-percent off on Black Friday.
Obuchowski said he started his day at 3:30 a.m. and will be at the store until 3:30 p.m. It’s been an exciting day, he said, but he has a plan for when his shift ends.
“I’m going straight to bed,” he said.