ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The first Black Friday since the COVID-19 pandemic shut businesses last year saw thousands of people flocking to stores in search of the best deals.
Samantha Salto and her friends visited CherryVale Mall and said it was nice to be able to shop in-person this year.
“I’m enjoying it, especially because I’m with really close friends and I think it’s really fun to go Black Friday shopping,” she said.
Maxim Labak and his family hit the mall, not just to grab deals but also to walk off his Thanksgiving dinner.
“I expected it to be more crowded,” he said. “I don’t know about [the rest of the family], but we are working off the turkey!”
Many stores started offering Black Friday savings online weeks ago, but that didn’t stop shoppers, like Leslie Calixto, from hitting her favorite spots.
“I expected it to be less people, but it’s still Black Friday. I should have expected this, too,” she said of the crowds that lines up and had to be let into one mall store one person at a time.
Salto said she was just happy to feel safe shopping with her friends again.
“It’s amazing that everyone is just coming back, and we all feel more safe now,” she said.