Valley crowds fill stores for Black Friday shopping

·2 min read

Nov. 27—SELINSGROVE — Jean Nolter was surprised by the number of shoppers at the Susquehanna Valley Mall Friday.

The Kulpmont resident braved the Black Friday crowds with her daughter, Maggie Nolter, in the hope of getting some good deals.

"We're not finding them," she said as they waited in line to enter the Bath and Body Works store.

Mall manager Margie Deppen was unsure how many people would come out for what has become the most popular shopping days of the year in the U.S.

"We've noticed that people are shopping more but we didn't know what to expect," said Deppen who was very pleased with the large turnout. "We opened at 8 a.m., and people were waiting to get in."

The National Retail Federation (NRF) estimates that 165.3 million Americans will shop between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday.

"The tradition of Thanksgiving weekend holiday shopping has become a five-day event with consumers spending money in stores, supporting local small businesses, and online with their mobile devices and computers," NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. "Even as people are starting to purchase gifts earlier in the season, consumers still enjoy finding good Thanksgiving deals and passing time shopping with family and friends over the long holiday weekend."

Renée Bidelspach, of Mifflinburg, spent "more than was necessary" purchasing mostly new clothing and accessories for herself at the Selinsgrove mall.

Joined by her mother, Kara Bidelspach, the college student said she doesn't usually shop on Black Friday but wanted to get a new wardrobe.

"I'm getting ideas," said Kara Bidelspach, who will stick with tradition and shop with her husband two weeks before Christmas.

While some retailers are having a difficult time staffing stores, Deppen said, there is a wide variety of permanent and pop-up shops, as well as Santa, to attract customers.

Melissa Traugh was working at one of the pop-up shops, Holly's Handbags Plus, on Friday and said business was good.

"People are spending money," she said.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting