Black Friday shoppers out in force at Metro Detroit stores
Novi — Shoppers wandered Metro Detroit's malls Friday, as signs of 30, 35 and 50 percent off beckoned them into the storefronts.
Customers had bags in bags on bags as they formed lines outside Lululemon Athletics, browsed the departments at Macy's and ordered festive-flavored coffees from Starbucks to keep them going.
"We wait for Black Friday," said Sam Kim, 55, of Troy who was shopping at Troy's Somerset Collection with his family. "We try not to spend too much before then. I think we can find some pretty good deals."
Kim and his family are among the 164 million people who are expected to hit the stores and search for doorbuster deals over the five-day Thanksgiving weekend both online and in store, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation. Of those, 71 percent said they would shop on Friday, the second-busiest shopping day of the year behind the Saturday before Christmas.
Top items of interest, according to the survey, were winter wear, electronics and home appliances.
Shoppers in Metro Detroit also flocked to stores for jewelry, clothing, shoes and home goods.
Kim sat on a bench at Somerset next to five bags, keeping an eye on them as his family visited other stores. He said Saks Fifth Avenue had some good deals but was disappointed with North Face.
"There was almost nothing on sale," the automotive parts engineer said.
Manila Shinde of Troy said she left happily after scoring up to 60 percent off on items from Macy's at Somerset.
"It's something to do," the 29-year-old dentist said of Black Friday shopping. "In the winter, it gets cold and there's snow, but now, everyone is happy."
Pandora attracted a long ling outside its shops, offering 35 percent off until 10 a.m. Rosa Steinhauser, 56, of Rochester Hills was hoping to find a sparkly new bracelet at its Somerset store. She already had success earlier in the day at Macy's, purchasing a cashmere sweater for $39.
"I come because I know the deals are going to be great," Steinhauser said. "I like to go to Starbucks for a Christmas drink. I love to see the people, and I'm a compulsive shopper."
At Twelve Oaks Mall in Novi, shoppers also shared mixed reviews.
Kyla and Sheena King, sisters from Southfield, had their hands full of bags of children's clothes from the Gap, JC Penney and Justice, where they found 30 percent off deals. It was time to shop for themselves at Macy's.
"We've only been around one corner," said Kyla King, a 30-year-old manager.
Sheena King, a 36-year-old teacher, said they started shopping the night before, set an alarm clock for three hours and wanted to shop for the whole day.
"But I don't know if we'll make it," she said. "I'm already feeling overwhelmed."
Others, however, were slightly less satisfied with the prices.
Jason Weier, 40, of Commerce said he comes to Gap Kids every year for low prices on gifts for his daughters.
"There hasn't been as many (deals) as in past years," he said. "It's just different than in the past. They don't have as much outerwear for kids anymore."
Many shoppers had early starts on Friday. Some were in and out the door by 6 a.m.
Christina Owens and her mother left Macy's at Twelve Oaks early Friday morning, their hands full with bags of pillows and two new suitcases.
"We got some great deals," the 33-year-old financial analyst from New Hudson said. "It's tradition and great mother-daughter bonding time."
A marathon day began at 5:30 a.m. for Deierdre Weir, a 62-year-old director of training from West Bloomfield Township. With her Excel spreadsheet in hand, Weir had started on her 24th Christmas shopping adventure.
"Christmas doesn't start until Black Friday," she said. "I go out in the morning and end around 8 p.m., and I will be done."
In addition to the mall, Weir had plans to visit TJ Maxx, Bed, Bath & Beyond and Home Depot.
When asked about how much she expected to spend, Weir said: "I don't even want to think about it."
Elsewhere in Twelve Oaks, lines formed outside Lululemon Athletica and Victoria Secret's Pink.
This Lululemon location is a "destination" for Black Friday shoppers, store manager Lexi Wallace said.
Searching for their sizes, teenagers and young women crowded the racks of leggings like wildlife around a watering hole.
Nicole Staley and her 17-year-old daughter, Megan, were the first in line outside the athleisure store before it opened. The night before, they had hit up JC Penney for $15 sweaters.
"I don't even know what I want anymore," the 46-year-old Brighton resident said. "I'm looking for really great deals, but I haven't found them yet. Lululemon usually has good Black Friday deals."
Many shoppers said Friday was their second day hitting the shops after kicking off weekend shopping on Thanksgiving. Others, however, said the holiday was no time to go the store.
"No, I wouldn't go shopping on Thanksgiving," said Yvonne Newsome, an interactive developer from Oakland Township who was shopping at Somerset's Apple store. "That time is for family. I think stores should be closed."
But others said starting shopping on Thursday is worth it.
"That way," Jia Rhodes, 32, of Clinton Township said at Somerset, "you can make sure you get what you wanted."
For others, shopping on Black Friday is family time. Stefanie Ellis, 55, of Garden City browsed Pottery Barn with her mother-in-law, Sharon. They wore green-and-red-striped Santa Claus hat headbands.
"You'll see other members of the Ellis family walking around with them," Stefanie Ellis said. "It makes it easy to find each other. If we spot a good deal, that's great, but we're mostly here to people watch."