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Black Friday Enjoyed Calm Crowds

Black Friday is traditionally flanked with pushing, shoving and sometimes hair-pulling, but not this year in New Orleans..

All things considered crowds at Lakeside Mall were relatively calm.

Shoppers say Thursday’s earlier hours had a lot to do with it.

WGNO’s Darian Trotter reports.

The holiday shopping season is off to a good start.

“so far it’s been very very good,” Zales manager Roberto Martinez said.

Shoppers got an earlier start than usual Thursday, when retailers opened their doors for Thanksgiving, earlier than in years past.

Stores like Best Buy and Toys-R-Us opened at 6pm on turkey day, while stores at area malls opened at 8pm.

“I was at the Mall of Louisiana last night and it was hectic you couldn’t even get in a line,” shopper Teann Wells said. “It was hours. I didn’t like that.”

“You know you do have that crowd that’s raring to go and in the middle of the night, and so I let them go  I let them do their thing,” shopper Sandy Guidry said.

The result is a calmer shopping experience for Black Friday.

“Very steady,”  Martinez agreed.

“I like it better today than I did last night,” Wells said.

“I do think it’s much better because there’s not as much people running around,” Guidry said.

Fewer people and shorter lines, created the an environment ideal for the little ones to tag along.

“A lot more families, a lot lot more families,” Wells said.

“I’m enjoying it because I’m with my cousins and my friends and I just like shopping,” said 8-year old Bella Long.

There were some noticeably long lines, but this one wasn’t for jewelry, or apparel.

Instead the longest line was at Starbucks.

“Because I need some more energy to keep going,” shopper Janel Raymond said.

Yep…. shoppers worked up an appetite, and took breaks in the food court.

The Willhoft’s made a day of snagging deals.

“But we just started two hours ago so there’s plenty more to be had,” Angela Willhoft said.

So, after more eat….

“More shopping,” Willhoft said.

“Probably three, four more hours and then we’ll be going home,” Wells said.

Black Friday is the official start of extended holiday hours for many retailers.