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Saturday, November 26, 2016

Black Friday kicks off shopping; Nashua drivers battle to find parking spaces

By DEREK EDRY
Staff Writer

Shoppers flocked to Greater Nashua retailers for Black Friday, the annual Christmas shopping kickoff tradition.

Many major retailers throughout Greater Nashua remained open through the wee hours of the night, attracting shoppers by offering deep discounts after stuffing their bellies with turkey. ...

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Shoppers flocked to Greater Nashua retailers for Black Friday, the annual Christmas shopping kickoff tradition.

Many major retailers throughout Greater Nashua remained open through the wee hours of the night, attracting shoppers by offering deep discounts after stuffing their bellies with turkey.

Around 10 a.m. outside the Pheasant Lane Mall in Nashua, parking was a game of chance, while inside, at JCPenney, a line was building and approaching the door.

Alison Retzlafm, manager of JCPenney, which stayed open all night, said business had been good.

"When we opened yesterday, it was really, really busy," Retzlafm said. "It did slow down a bit, and it's starting to pick up now. So we're doing really well."

A line of shoppers stood outside the Apple store, as others sat in lounge chairs. In some stores, shoppers resorted to occupying the floor to rest their legs.

Nearby at the Daniel Webster Highway Best Buy, drivers waited in line to park. Inside the electronics superstore, staff worked hard to counteract chaos. A seemingly endless stream of workers carried flat-screen televisions to the front like an assembly line.

Over at the Merrimack Premium Outlets, things were a bit more mellow.

Ryan Cardinal, manager of The Gap, said business was good but slower than last year - likely because of the cold, rainy weather. Still, he said, people were lined up in front of the door when he opened the store at 6 a.m.

"I've been working here since the mall opened (in 2012), and it's pretty crazy every year," he said.

Cardinal said he noticed more people this year are also buying gifts for themselves.

Tracey Matthews, from Agawam, Mass., said she decided to stop by the Merrimack Premium Outlets after visiting family for Thanksgiving.

"I've never done this before. I've never shopped on Black Friday," she said.

Matthews said she bought some Christmas gifts for others and some things for herself.

"My birthday is on Saturday, so I might as well - I have an excuse," she said.

Misty Rowell and her daughter Mia, of Candia, said they'd had a great shopping experience so far.

"Great deals," Misty said.

"Yeah, great deals," Mia echoed.

As for who they were shopping for, Misty said she was focusing on others, while Mia mostly got items for herself.

Back at the Pheasant Lane Mall, Paige Didona, 18, of Chelmsford, Mass., said she was focused on getting some well-priced Christmas gifts for her relatives.

"I have a limited amount of money, so I'll probably just focus on other people," she said.

Derek Edry can be reached at 594-1243, dedry@nashuatelegraph.com or @Telegraph_Derek.