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Bay Area Bargain Shoppers Find Black Friday Is Not What It Used To Be

WALNUT CREEK (KPIX) - Malls and shopping centers across the East Bay saw big crowds on Black Friday.

Shoppers said some stores still offered big discounts to get customers in the door, while others were not offering much. Retail experts said part of that was a supply chain issue.

At the Walnut Creek Broadway Plaza shopping center, foot traffic appeared close to pre-pandemic levels.

"There's definitely more people out this year than last year," said shopper Brooke Daly.

"I think the sales are good," said Sherri Goldsmith.

"40% off at Zara. 40% off in Macy's," said shopper Persia Asadollah.

Shoppers said unlike previous Black Fridays, this year it was more hit or miss. Becca Gardner was disappointed by the lack of big discounts.

"There's not really good deals. Haven't found any deals. Nordstrom is not having any sales. They tricked us," said Becca Gardner.

Experts said instead of jamming all the big promotions into one day, more retailers are spreading out deals through multiple weeks online and in store.

"Seems to be everything is online nowadays. The sales in stores are not what they used to be," said Cole Ramsay.

"I think that's the point of Black Friday. So I wish there were more sales," said Ella Baumer.

There were no long lines at the Best Buy and Target stores in the Oakland, Emeryville area Friday morning. Customers said it was more organized, yet still busy.

"So happy I don't have to wait in line to get something," said Best Buy shopper Shanikqua Johnson.

Bill Thayer is a supply chain expert and the co-founder of Fillogic.

"You might want a slate gray iPhone, you might have to settle for a silver one," said Thayer.

Thayer and others said the supply chain issue is affecting what's available on the shelves.

"You'll find gifts, you may not find the exact one you want," said John Rosen, an economics professor at the University of New Haven in Connecticut.

At big box retailers outside the city like the Best Buy in Colma, shoppers were out looking to score good deals.

Gwen Theriault picked up a MacBook Pro.

"I got $600 off," she told KPIX5. "It's usually $2,800 and it was $2,200. I also just got AirPods Pro."

"This is my first time back at it since COVID, but I used to go to Black Fridays in different malls and stuff. Previous years," Theriault added.

Clarice Acena of South San Francisco bought a new TV.

"I got a 65-inch TV - the original price was $539, and then the sale price was $499," she said.

At Target in Colma, there were no long lines and no chaos, but that wasn't the case earlier in the day at Serramonte mall.

"There was way too many people... by the time that we showed up everything was gone, and it was just a lot of commotion," said Joey of San Francisco. He decline to give his last name.

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