SKOKIE, Ill. — A day for turkey leftovers and holiday shopping — Black Friday in the suburban Chicago area was in full effect.
Many stormed the outdoor Westfield Old Orchard Mall in Skokie to participate in the post-Thanksgiving tradition. Avid Black Friday shopper Ava Gordon was among the crowd.
“I just love Black Friday shopping in general,” Gordon said. I like the Christmas music.”
Despite the pandemic, shopper Michelle Iskowitz was excited for the opportunity to be out-and-about to check on the deals and possibly splurge.
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“Anything is better than last year,” she said.
While some were just out for a browse, others, like Alison Wilensky, were on the hunt for something specific.
“I really need a new coat,” Wilensky said. “Looking everywhere for like a high-quality, good winter coat that will last a long time. I got one in 7th-grade. I’m 20 now. So, I need a new coat.”
Most locals told WGN News they were ready to spend after skipping Black Friday shopping last year, which is good news, says Westfield Old Orchard Mall general manager Serge Khalimsky.
“One thing Covid gave us was a bit of a reset in the retail industry,” Khalimsky said. “Thanksgiving, we were closed and we feel really good about having people back today.”
While long lines have long accompanied Black Friday, this year seemed a bit different. Most stores may keep their deals well into the weekend, so mall-goers still have a chance to benefit from discounts and sales.
Said Wilensky: “Especially with people still not comfortable coming out and with online sales and cyber sales, I think they’re having it for a longer duration of time so that it’s fair for those who don’t want to come out and shop as well.”