There were no signs of Black Friday's deal-busting madness at The Mall at Short Hills Friday morning. Shoppers at the upscale mall in northern New Jersey walked casually from store to store and carried few bags during the hours that were crowded and hectic at other malls and big box stores. The only difference from a regular shopping day? It was 8 a.m., two hours before the mall usually opens.
At some stores, Black Friday offered shoppers unprecedented deals if they made their purchases before 9 a.m. or, in some cases, noon. At the Macy's in Short Hills, employee Kathy Graul, of Union, said, "It's definitely not Target and Kohl's, but I think for the people who shop in the Short Hills Mall, the sales are good." She said some customers stood outside Macy's, waiting for the doors to open at midnight.
Graul said one deal her store offered was clearance shoes at 50 percent off.
She said she saw some stores, including Banana Republic, with 40 percent off purchases before midday. "For a Banana Republic shopper, that's a terrific buy," she said.
Designer stores at The Mall at Short Hills, such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Cartier, opened for their regular business hours at 10 a.m. and offered no sales.
But later in the day, The Mall became a busy place, with the parking lot reaching full capacity by 1 p.m., said Michael McAvinue, general manager of The Mall.
"We did begin the day with light foot traffic, which is typical for us, but it quickly picked up starting at 8:30 a.m. and we reached 100 percent parking capacity by 1pm," he said. "I would estimate that we saw about 5 percent more traffic today at 1 p.m. than we saw last year at the same time."