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Black Friday updates from the Grove, the Oaks and South Coast Plaza

November 29, 2013|By Paresh Dave, Soumya Karlamangla and Ryan Menezes
  • Shoppers armed with borrowed umbrellas and bags of sale items walk through South Coast Plaza on a rainy Black Friday morning.
Shoppers armed with borrowed umbrellas and bags of sale items walk through… (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles…)

Despite heavy rain in some parts of the Southland, shoppers still turned out at malls early Friday, although crowds appeared significantly thinner than on Thanksgiving night.

At the Grove, a line had formed down the block for the 7 a.m. opening of British retailer Topshop Topman. Several other popular stores, including Apple, Banana Republic and Nordstrom, had few or no people in line before the doors opened.

Amber Cordero of North Hollywood has been shopping on Black Friday since she was 12.

The 17-year-old works at Kmart and ended her shift at 2 a.m. Friday morning. Three hours later, she arrived at the Grove ready to shop.

"The goals are to get 10 friends Christmas gifts today. I've got three down so far," Cordero said. "I'm looking for anything that's not regular priced."

But Cordero said she found the deals disappointing, and complained that the Gap was too crowded.

"I was expecting more," she said. "You used to get half off on the entire store plus additional discounts. But today I just [saw] one table of good deals."

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Hours after the Oaks opened, foot traffic at the Thousand Oaks shopping center had dwindled by early Friday morning.

Becky Kruidenier, 60, was sitting on the edge of a fountain in the mall.

She woke up at 4 a.m. and got to the mall an hour later. By 7:30 a.m., Kruidenier, who lives in Thousand Oaks and had never gone Black Friday shopping before, said she was about ready to head home.

"I usually have all my shopping done by October -- I already have it done this year," said Kruidenier, who lives in Thousand Oaks. "I just thought, 'Let's go see what it's all about.'"

Despite the deals she saw, Kruidenier generally wasn't swayed. She said that for a lot of the items she saw today, she thought: "It's tempting -- but it's not something on my list."

Jose Leon, 34, came to the Oaks around 8:30 a.m. with his wife and their five children.

The Oxnard resident noted that the mall seemed less crowded than it did last year, and people appeared to be buying less.

"Today it seems very quiet. A lot of people are walking around but they don't have many bags," Leon said.

Over at South Coast Plaza, Kathe McCutcheon, 50, was among the hundreds shoppers waiting outside Sephora. Some had spent the night in tents waiting for the cosmetics retailer to open at 7 a.m.

When she made her way into the store, "these girls were ripping my clothes off, practically," McCutcheon, an estimator at a moving company, said. "It was a shark-blood-in-the-water thing."

Her daughter, Shannon Marie, was less enthused. The 30-year-old said she doesn't usually shop for deals but on Black Friday, "I make the effort to go out once a year and suffer."


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Times staff writer Andrea Chang contributed to this report.

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