Brian Kelly @brpkelly

ST. LOUIS (KMOX)- For many shoppers, hitting the stores before dawn on Black Friday is a tradition, but those who were out early on this Friday morning in St. Louis didn’t have as much company as in past years.

At South County Center, the Christmas music playing over the loudspeakers could be heard over shoppers in most places. West County Center was much busier, but not packed and police were not needed for traffic control.

The shoppers who did turn out blamed Thanksgiving shopping for the relatively low turnout. Darlene Lagermann says it was absolutely not your typical Black Friday at South County, “Last year it was crazy here,” she says. Lagermann and her daughter had been shopping all night, but don’t like the change, “I don’t think it’s right.” she says, “We used to go out at four in the morning on Black Friday. I like that better.”

Also at South County, Marilyn Johnson said she won’t shop on Thanksgiving, out of principle, “I would prefer they not do it on Thursday.”

But others were quick to adapt, including Nicole Kertz, who had been bargain hunting since 11:30 Thursday night, “We went to Kohl’s, JC Penney, Macy’s and we got some pretty good deals there.”

Kertz and her mother expected South County Center to be open when they arrived there, but it was closed from midnight until 6 am, a Black Friday first.

Veteran Black Friday shopper Jill Hillson noticed the difference at West County Center, “I think it’s pretty quiet.” Despite the smaller crowds, Hillson was one of two shoppers to complain that customer service was lacking.

Pam Gabris and her daughter Margaret were waiting in the longest line at West County Center, at the Starbucks stand. “It seems a little slower in the mall today,” Pam says. She too says she’d rather see a return to the traditional Black Friday. When asked if she will ever shop on Thanksgiving, she quickly answered, “No.”

 

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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Another view:

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Bargain-hunters venturing out for Black Friday shopping around St. Louis aren’t getting much cooperation from the weather.

Dreary, rainy conditions prevailed around that area where traffic at several malls, and discount and big-box stores canvassed by The Associated Press was noticeably thin.

At the South County Center mall, sisters Eileen Kroll and Maureen Ackles sat bleary-eyed on a bench outside a Bath & Body Works shop. Both women had been up for the past 24 hours but showed no signs of fatigue, having already between to three Wal-Marts, two Targets and a Kohl’s department store since midnight.

Ackels already had bought a Michael Kors sport coat bought for $80, saving $215. Video games they purchased at Walmart — typically $60 apiece — were more than half that at $27.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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