Surviving Black Friday

A mall employee gives advice on how to prepare for the holiday shopping season.


Melisa Cabello-Cuahutle

Black Friday sale draws the most customers many stores see all year. Photo by Melisa Cabello-Cuahutle

Melisa Cabello-Cuahutle, News Editor

It’s that time of the year again: time to buy presents in advance, time to buy that new computer, time to buy those clothes you’ve been wanting to. Well, time to buy.

Chances are you are going to spend Friday shopping. If you are a mall employee, however, you will spend the next week mentally and physically preparing yourself for Black Friday.

Either way, Black Friday is going to be filled with shoppers, but you don’t have to be stuck in the crowd.. Here are some tips to navigate Black Friday given by a mall employee.

Should you camp outside?

Black Friday experts don’t need to be reminded that showing up an hour early is not enough if you are looking for a new computer. If you are looking to purchase electronics, beware: lines to enter the store start days before.

Best hours

When it comes to buying clothes, stores used to open at 5 a.m., now some stores open at midnight, while others open on Thursday night and don’t close until Friday night. Either way, the best time to avoid the crowd is to go shopping around 3 a.m.

Make sure to read the fine print

Store windows will be full of deals that will sound like a great bargain, but make sure to read the small letters. While it is true that Black Friday might save you a lot of money, not every item will be on sale.

Special changes

Some stores, especially the busiest stores, will make changes on how they operate. Some sections might open at different hours, or some food court restaurants might take your order before you get a chance to look at where the menu usually is.  Either way, these changes might be annoying if you are tired but they are made to better your experience and to move the lines faster.

Deals before and after

Black Friday is not the only day you get to shop for less. Many stores release offers the week before and the weekend of Black Friday, so you can still enjoy the sales if you want to avoid groups of people.

Black Friday can be a very rewarding experience if you are prepared. Following these tips will set you on the right path towards that brand new outfit.

This holiday shopping season, remember that there is a person behind the counter; it is not uncommon for mall employees to work long hours and extra shifts during the holidays. 

In addition to the large crowds, many stores are staying open overnight on Thanksgiving. This means that many workers will not be spending the holiday with their family, so make sure to bring your holiday spirit along with your shopping bags.