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The Black Friday shopping scene ‘not so hectic’

Michelle Carr (left) and her daughter, Lindsay Carr (right) shop for sweaters at Sears that were on a Black Friday special for 70% off. Black Friday shoppers were cashing in on deals in Central Park, Spotsylvania Towne Center, Southpoint and downtown Fredericksburg. (SUZANNE CARR ROSSI / THE FREE LANCE STAR)

Opening doors to shoppers on Thursday night seemed to help reduce crowds and calm the usual Black Friday mayhem at the mall.

“I guess—as we [are] open for so long now—it’s not so hectic. So it’s kind of spread out, which leaves the joy” out of the holiday shopping kickoff, said Nakita Brown, store manager for Express at Spotsylvania Towne Centre.  “I’m usually excited for the hecticness.”

She said Thursday and Friday were “a cakewalk compared to last year… Midnight it was like a swarm of people walking through my door, and this year it was just not the same.”

Other mall store workers agreed that the extra hours helped spread out the crowds.

But while it was calm at the mall, Central Park stores were slammed on Friday with people searching for hot deals.

Old Navy, which offered 50 percent off of all merchandise, had lines winding around the store.

Brooke Walley, 33, of Fredericksburg, was hoping for a Thanksgiving Day deal but decided the Old Navy lines were too long. So she tried coming back on Black Friday. But she said the lines are “definitely not as bad as they were last year because stores opened on Thanksgiving.”

Susan Smith, 48, of Maryland, went shopping with family at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving and then the family returned home, took a nap and came back out on Black Friday. Her niece was so tired from shopping the night before, she put her pants on backwards for the Friday shopping spree.

“The best deals were at Old Navy,” she said. “The line was ridiculously long there.”

She also shopped at Best Buy and was looking Samsung Galaxy phone accessories.

In downtown Fredericksburg, the Friday afternoon scene was relatively calm, but parking was scarce.

Cindy Dennis, who owns Quilts ‘N Treasures toy store on Caroline Street, said business picked up Friday afternoon after people finished with Central Park doorbuster deals.

For the first couple of hours, to entice people downtown in the morning, her store held a 20 percent off sale. They’re expecting a busier day tomorrow on Small Business Saturday.

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