Black Friday rush kicks off early at Prien Lake Mall

By Crystal Price - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - In the midst of a down economy, shoppers say they plan to spend less this holiday season.

However, that's not keeping them from seeking bargains on Black Friday.

"I guess it's the excitement of seeing everybody else rushing to get their deals," says Elley Buller, a regular shopper on Black Friday.

While it may be exciting, it's also the time when shoppers are the most aggressive.

"I got bumped into a couple times but no one's real crazy," says Rachel Guasp, a Black Friday shopper.

"I was looking for a particular necklace and they only had one left," says Rachel Thibeau. "I ending up fighting another shopper for it and I won."

Quite a few shoppers arrived at the mall at the special opening time of 5 AM.

"I look forward to getting up at 4 in the morning and taking off," says Buller. "We always have so much fun."

Other shoppers decided to come later and avoid the crowds.

"I got here about 8 o'clock this morning," says Paul Key, a regular Black Friday shopper. "I'm not worried about a thing, there's plenty at the mall to choose from."

Officials at Prien Lake Mall say it is one of the busiest Black Fridays they've seen in recent years.

"I feel traffic has been heavier than last year," says Nikki Buxton, Director of Marketing at Business Development. "There have been people walking out of the mall with bags and bags of merchandise."

Shoppers say they have been saving up for the holiday season.

"We've been preparing for it all year," says Lorinda Trahan. "My kids are bigger now so they're presents are going to be bigger."

Shoppers say they plan to spend less this season, but this is not going to keep them from checking out holiday deals at the mall.

"We're still buying gifts," says Buller. "That doesn't stop us from having fun. You can have fun without buying."

That is why shoppers say it is a good idea to take advantage of the Black Friday sales.

"They have some pretty good sales," says Key. "You know if you're going to save money then buying during the sale time is the way to do it."

If you missed out on Black Friday, mall officials say it is only the beginning of season full of holiday sales.

Their best advice is to know what you are looking for before you hit the stores and look for the best holiday bargains beforehand.

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