Busy Black Friday at local malls

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SARASOTA -  Black Friday is one of the biggest shopping days of the year, and while many people waited in lines for hours to get deals on things such as tablets, phones, and other hot list electronics, local malls also saw a good turnout.

"I just got to the Sarasota Mall and I am just going to spend all my money right here, right now today," shopper Lori Cashi-Haught said when she arrived at Westfield Southgate Mall Friday morning.

Hundreds to even thousands of people checked out deals at every store at the mall to either treat themselves or get some holiday shopping done early.

"Ready to spend money, it's still Christmas doesn't matter what the economy is doing.  My kids are still going to wake up on Christmas morning and be looking for gifts," Cashi-Haught said.

And despite door busters at other places across the Suncoast that started as early as 8pm on Thanksgiving Day, some mall stores decided to open their doors a little earlier this year at midnight in hopes of attracting some of those night owls.

"I think we did pretty good.  I really do," said Cache store manager Darci Jacob.  "I don't have all the total numbers yet but I think we did pretty good."

Even managers at places that opened 8 hours later still said Black Friday was a success this year.

"I was beginning to worry that people did not want to shop anymore since everything opens so early yesterday, that they would be a little shopped out," said Saks Fifth Avenue general manager Sally Schule.  "But really not the case."

Overall, many said it was a shopping event that not only provided great deals for customers, but contributes to the local economy as well.

"The shops here employ over 1200 local residents, which is great," said Westfield Southgate Marketing Director Sam Davidson.  "So to see people coming out here today, hundreds and thousands of people, really shows their support for friends and family that work here as well."