The shoppers made their way through the food court at the Media City
Center, balancing trays of food in one hand and bags of new
merchandise in the other, waiting to pounce on any open tables.
In the food court, Friday certainly appeared to be one of the
busiest shopping days of the year. But in the rest of the mall, the
large crowds that characterized other area malls were nowhere to be
“I thought there would be more people,” said shopper Jane Veloso,
38. “I guess it’s just the mall itself. It doesn’t have that many
good stores, so it’s probably not as crowded as other malls. I just
came because my sister needed to drive me.”
Christina Witherspoon, who works at Kids Music Box, said that
customer traffic had been busier than usual in the mall, but not as
much as she expected.
“They certainly haven’t been buying anything from me,” Witherspoon
The customers that were there took advantage of the sales that are
commonplace the day after Thanksgiving. Veloso said she found good
deals at Sears, and her sister shopped at other stores.
Brent Schoenbaum, a retail analyst for Deloitte Consulting, said
that Friday is one of the busiest shopping days of the year, with
retail sales 12% higher than usual, and businesses usually do 40% to
45% of their sales during the period between Thanksgiving and New
Year’s Eve. But he said it is difficult to draw any conclusions about
the shopping season from the first day.
“The day after Thanksgiving is not entirely a litmus test for how
the holiday season goes,” Schoenbaum said. “People are looking for
items on sale, and they’ll come when they think it’s the best time to
The Media City Center is doing its best to bring in customers, and
on Friday launched its “Money Back Days” promotion, which rewards
customers with a $25 gift certificate to participating stores if they
spend $250 at the mall.
“I generally like it when it’s less crowded,” shopper Randy Coull
said. “There are quite a few deals. At some little crafts shop,
everything’s 50% off. It’s amazing.”