By: Alejandra Marquez Janse
Angel and Cara Ramirez stopped at the Coral Square mall on the afternoon of Black Friday when they noticed there weren’t that many cars in the parking lot.
Inside, the couple found smaller crowds than they had expected to see on a Black Friday as they didn’t appear to fill the stores or mall.
“I think Black Friday is more for electronics,” said Cara Ramirez, looking through clothes at Macy’s. “The mall has no stores for phones or TVs like Best Buy.”
Ramirez also said people buy more online than at the mall.
And Coral Springs wasn’t alone. PricewaterhouseCoopers, a professional services network, found that 54 percent of consumers planned to shop online this holiday season – up from 50 percent in 2018. CNN Business also reported that online sales totaled $7.4 billion on Friday, and online, and pick-up sales increased 43.2 percent this year.
While some residents began shopping on Thanksgiving Day when the mall opened at 5 p.m., others were observed waiting in front of one of the Macy’s entrances discussing the clothes or home items they intended to buy.
Luz Moncallo, a Coral Springs resident, waited in the parking lot in front of Macy’s with her husband. They wanted to buy furniture and visited the mall on Thursday to avoid the Black Friday crowds.
After working at Macy’s for over 20 years, Moncallo recalled more people used to shop on Black Friday — and also remembered seeing longer lines on Thanksgiving night compared to this year.
While some shopped at the mall on Thanksgiving or later in the day on Black Friday instead of Friday morning, others lined up at 5 a.m. to buy plants at the Home Depot across the street. The store was selling poinsettias: plants with red foliage that is common during Christmas time, for $0.99 on Black Friday with a limit of 12 per person.
“Twelve is not really enough,” said Mindy O’Brien, a Coral Springs resident, who along with two of her friends and their daughters, waited in line.
The group has shopped together on Black Friday for over ten years, visiting Sam’s Club and Best Buy on Thursday after Thanksgiving dinner, and finishing their shopping on Friday.
The line of people extended to the end of the store, reaching Whole Foods next door. O’Brien said the number of people who line up to buy poinsettias has increased over the years, but noticed she saw fewer people shopping at the mall on Thursday.
“Only large stores like Macy’s and Kohl’s were busy,” she said.
One of her friends, Bianca Nelson, said people lined up at Home Depot because they could not buy the poinsettias online like other products.
The women pushed their shopping carts inside when employees opened the doors. Employees guided the shoppers to the poinsettias, and customers looked through tools, kitchen appliances, and Christmas decorations only after filling their carts with the plants.
“This has nothing to do with the price,” said O’Brien. “It has to do with the search.”