Black Friday deals draw thousands of Bay Area shoppers to stores

CONCORD, Calif. (KGO) -- In the Bay Area, Black Friday shopping was less chaotic than in other parts of the nation, though still busy.

Shoppers got to the Premium Outlets in Livermore before sunrise Friday. In Hayward, SKY7 HD showed shoppers at the Southland Mall circling the packed parking lot looking for spaces. Others decided to forget about parking and reached for their phones.

IBM digital analytics report online sales were up more than eight percent this Black Friday and that half of those sales were made on mobile devices, the most ever.

In the past 27 hours, an estimated 30,000 to 40,000 customers shopped at Sunvalley Mall.

Employees of the Sunvalley Mall in Concord were told to emphasize customer service, something customers can't get online, and there were a lot of buy one get one free deals.

"Yesterday was clearly stronger than last year on Thanksgiving day," said Sunvalley general manager Michael Fenley. "And today we don't have any numbers yet but just from the crowds we've seen in the bags that they're carrying it looks like it's going to be very strong."

The goal now is to keep those shoppers streaming through the doors, and retailers are pulling out all the stops.

Vallejo resident Darchelle Turner bought a purse she didn't know she wanted until she entered the store.

"The sales associate came over and said, 'Oh, you like this purse. Well, if you pre-buy it today, you pick it up on Wednesday and we'll give you an additional 25 percent off,' so I was like okay," she said.

The Sun Valley Shopping Center also has the only "Frozen" palace in the Bay Area and Santa Claus is there too.

"We know we've got to be there when the shopper wants to shop, and that's something we are prepared to do," Fenley said.

The attractions and deep discounts are designed to combat online shopping and if the customer's ask for it, Sunvalley Mall says it will open
earlier next year on Thanksgiving Day.
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