JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Shoppers lined up before 5 a.m. ready to snag deals at The Mall at Johnson City on Black Friday.
Retailers like JCPenney opened at 5 a.m., but the full mall did not open until 6 a.m. Shoppers eagerly lined up at both the exterior exits and exits within JCPenney.
Sheila Reed, Marketing Director at The Mall at Johnson City said the morning crowds were larger than she expected. Especially after leaner crowds last year due to the pandemic.
“We’ve got a lot more doorbuster deals going on and have people coming in early for that,” said Reed.
Some shoppers said Black Friday shopping is a tradition for them when they can enjoy quality time together.
Cheyenne Kinkead and her niece Lindsey Carter say they have been doing Black Friday shopping together for 15 years. The pair donned matching t-shirts and hats to mark the occasion.
“We come shopping every Black Friday,” said Kinkead. “It’s tradition!”
Other shoppers, like Bella Beene, had their eyes on specific deals. She spent the morning shopping with her boyfriend and family.
“I’m looking for good deals on American Eagle,” said Beene. “I like their jackets a lot… I like their sweaters.”
Though COVID protocols like mask-wearing are no longer mandatory, Reed said staff is taking measures to ensure the safety of shoppers.
“We have all our safety and cleaning protocols in place so that they can feel comfortable shopping here,” she said.
Santa will be arriving at the mall at noon on Black Friday. He will be available for pictures every day through Christmas. Those wishing to take pictures with Santa are asked to make a reservation here first.
“One of the biggest differences people are going to notice is that we are advertising a lot of holiday events going on this year,” said Reed. “We are bringing back our pet nights and our annual tree lighting which is really excited to get in the holiday spirit and get people together.
The mall will be operating on extending hours throughout the holiday season. For more information on the upcoming events and holiday hours visit mallatjohnsoncity.com.