Black Friday Tradition Changes in North Jersey

Earlier and staggered store openings result in shorter lines, less frenzy the day after Thanksgiving.

Varied opening and sale times at retailers for the Black Friday rush seemed to spread out shoppers throughout North Jersey’s biggest stores this weekend.

This year marked a new marketing tactic—more retailers opened Thanksgiving night. While some stores bought into the new trend, others stuck to the traditional early-morning opening times Friday, while others chose to open at 7 or 8 a.m. And, the different opening times gave shoppers a lot of options, and the ability to hit multiple stores.

Long nighttime lines awaited shoppers at the Rockaway Townsquare Mall, which saw customers skipping Thanksgiving dinner to line up almost a day before some stores’ 8 and 9 p.m. openings.

The line at the Walmart in Watchung started forming at 1 p.m. Though most Walmart stores opened at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving, an ordinance passed in the borough pushed the opening back to midnight. By the time the store opened, the line of eager customers stretched from the door to the back of the parking lot.

Other North Jersey shopping spots, like The Livingston Mall and Willowbrook Mall in Wayne, opened at midnight.  Both saw long lines on the overnight between Thanksgiving and Black Friday, but they quickly diminished, and the malls were much less crowded by daybreak.

Bridgewater Commons saw a similar scene—long lines of shoppers for a midnight opening that quickly dissipated as shoppers moved on to find other deals.

Some stores kept to the traditional Black Friday routine—opening at 4 or 5 a.m., while the malls in Paramus opened at 7 a.m., and the Mall at Short Hills opened at 8 a.m.

Shoppers seemed to be on the move quickly, with lines forming at most places for their openings, but clearing out quickly as other stores’ staggered opening times started approaching.

Other shoppers opted for different, less-crowded shopping options, like those on Route 17 in Bergen County who waited until the afternoon to hit the bog box stores, or those in Northern Somerset County who c instead of taking part in the Black Friday frenzy.

And, as shoppers were hopping from store to store on Black Friday, many small business owners were preparing for patronage on Small Business Saturday. Since many small retailers reported being a bit neglected by customers looking for door-buster deals on Friday, business owners said they were hoping for strong sales Saturday.

To see a list of small businesses in your town participating in Small Business Saturday, click here.

Michele Begley Ruppert November 24, 2012 at 03:53 PM
Come by Schooley's Mountain fire house tomorrow Nov. 25th 10-4 to support local vendors sponsored by Long Valley Junior Women's Club.
Margaret McCall December 11, 2012 at 05:50 PM
Black Friday is one thing. Opening stores on Thanksgiving is disgraceful. Whats next? Shopping on Christmas. Its amazing what greed does to people.


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