Christmas is one month from today.
For self-confessed super shoppers like me, it's the time of year we really look forward to with lots and lots of discounts.
Black Friday actually began on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, for many retailers. opened at 9 p.m. Thursday. So many people showed up to the West Oaks II location in Novi, that shoppers had to line up outside the door and be let in a few dozen at a time.
Across the street, shoppers waited Thanksgiving night in 40-degree temperatures outside Novi's store hoping to grab a good deal, like a 42 inch TV for $200.
"It was worth missing Thanksgiving to get the sales" said fourteen-year old Taylor Bunch who came from Taylor and and got in line around 11 a.m. Wednesday to be among the first inside the Novi store when it opened at midnight on Thursday. Shoppers in the long line outside the electronics store on Thanksgiving night passed the time watching Harry Potter on a big screen set up on top of a trailer in the parking lot.
For the first time in its history, opened at midnight after Thanksgiving. Novi's marketing director Peggy Hayes said approximately 20 stores opened at midnight on Black Friday, with another 15 or so opening at 4 a.m., though the mall itself wasn't officially opened until 6 a.m.
Hayes said shoppers “came in waves with a big rush at midnight, then again at 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. as more stores opened.”
She said at one point mall officials had to close down the third floor of Macy's to thin out the crowd because there were so many shoppers in the early morning hours.
By 4:30 a.m., when I arrived at Twelve Oaks, it was much calmer than past Black Fridays when most of the stores typically opened around 5 a.m.
Candace Romig of Farmington Hills, who started shopping at 1 a.m. on Black Friday, was surprised at how calm it was at the Novi mall and said it “didn't seem like a true Black Friday.” Even though she waited an hour in line to pay for her items at Target earlier in the morning, she said she did not encounter any long waits to pay for her merchandise at the mall.
However, there was a long line to get in to the store at Twelve Oaks where everything was half off. was busy because they were handing out $20 off $40 purchases to the first 500 customers, and combined with a 20 percent off coupon made for some really good deals.
Novi police chief David Molloy tweeted around 9:30 a.m. on Friday that “shopping and traffic in Novi is going very smoothly with no major incidents and patrons seem pleased.”
Retail experts predict lots of deals this holiday shopping season and with Cyber Monday just around the corner, it's time to start planning for more discounts online. Some of my favorite deals still to come are what major retailers call “friends and family” discounts. Macy's and Lord and Taylor have them every year where shoppers can typically get 25 percent off everything in the store including high end items such as Coach and Waterford crystal that are rarely discounted. Savvy shoppers with smart phones can download shopping apps and one of my favorite discount websites is www.couponsherpa.com.
The key to getting a good deal is planning ahead and not getting caught up in buying something just because it is on sale. And remember you're shopping for others this holiday season and try not to pick up too many specials for yourself.