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Stores opening early lessen shopping frenzy on Black Friday
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Shoppers at the newest slew of stores in the Monte Vista Crossings complex snag special shopping deals on Black Friday.

Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year, but this year the unofficial holiday was slightly less, well, crazy.

Largely due in part to the fact that big box stores have dialed back their opening times to Thanksgiving evening, the dynamic at Monte Vista Crossings on Friday was not the mayhem often reserved for Black Friday.

“It’s been pleasant,” said Carol Cantwell, a Riverbank resident who came to Turlock specifically for the stores at Monte Vista Crossings. “We’ve been making our way down the strip and it hasn’t been bad at all.”

While Cantwell noted that the lines were still especially long at larger stores like Kohl’s where appliances, electronics, and clothing are all sold, overall the day was “enjoyable” since the individuals shopping for particular items most likely lined up for the store openings the previous evening.

The parking lots were filled with cars on Thanksgiving evening as individuals crowded outside of stores for doorbuster deals, such as Target which opened its doors at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving. With people often drawn to the big box stores that offer special deals on big ticket items like televisions for early shoppers, not all stores received the same attention.

Styles For Less, one of the newest shops in the Monte Vista Crossings' southern expansion, opened its doors on Thanksgiving evening and while the first 100 shoppers were eligible for special doorbuster scratcher deals, less than that number came to the store.

“I think part of it might be that we are new and [people] don’t realize that we’re here and open,” said Assistant Manager Celina De La Cruz.

While the crowds picked up on Friday morning, store manager Leticia Chavez noted that the shoppers seemed to be enjoying themselves. Having formerly worked at a large enclosed mall, Chavez said that Monte Vista Crossings strip mall draws a less intense crowd during Black Friday.

“We’re getting a good deal of customers, but they’ve still got their coffee in their hands for example. It’s very different at a strip mall than at a mall where we seemed to have more angry customers,” said Chavez.