Early-morning Black Friday bustle subdued in Massachusetts this year

BURLINGTON, Mass. – Black Friday got off to a relatively slow start this year.

“I was expecting five tents over there and a ton of other people in the parking lot, but it’s just empty right now,” said Best Buy shopper Zack, who was the first through the doors at the Burlington location Friday morning. “I’m kind of surprised there were no cars on the road. I think everyone is just doing stuff online.”

From big box stores to shopping centers, there weren’t many crowds to contend with early Friday morning.

“It’s nice not to stand in line anymore just to get in the store,” said Christine Schwefler, of Dunstable, who has been Black Friday shopping for ten years. “I think that’s one of the biggest things I have noticed that’s different.”

Many stores are also opening their doors later than they used to on Black Friday.

“We definitely come later than we used to come,” said shopper Adrianna Pascuccio, of Lynnfield. “We came at six today. We used to come at 3 a.m. when it used to open at midnight, so it’s definitely changed.”

Shopping analysts said stores offering sales before Black Friday also helps with crowd control.

“I think the retailers have shifted and have done a great job in terms of offering some deals throughout Black Friday week as we are seeing,” said Director of Marketing and Business Development for Simon Properties Sheila Hennessey. “There are still some deals that you can just get on Black Friday so the savvy shopper knows that and will come out and stand in the Lululemon line just to get that small discount on a pair of leggings they had their eye on.”

If there’s ever a time to save some money, it’s now.

“Due to inflation, I feel like we have to save money wherever possible,” said Neha Kunal, of Hopkinton.

Many retailers are offering extended beyond Black Friday for the whole holiday shopping season.

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