[pullquote1 quotes=”true” align=”center”]Have no fear, this regional map ensures holiday savings[/pullquote1]

Staff Writer

For bargain hunters across America it is the most wonderful time of the year. That is, Black Friday, Nov. 23, the day after Thanksgiving, will provide shopping madness and excitement to all those participating (those not shopping should remain indoors eating leftovers, not even considering leaving the safety of the couch). What began in regional Philadelphia in the 1960s describing the day after Thanksgiving as “black,” because of the traffic and crowded sidewalks, has now spread far and wide to meet everyone’s shopping needs.

For those in the Lancaster area, the Tanger Outlets will be offering “Moonlight Madness” deals starting at 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving night. Student shoppers can prepare to get excited about sales at PacSun, whose key deal is 40 percent off an entire purchase of three or more items. While these local outlets aren’t giving out too much information, past Black Friday deals hint towards 40 percent off the clearance section at the American Eagle Factory Store, up to 70 percent off clothing at Gap, and 40 percent off an entire purchase at Banana Republic.

If the Philadelphia area is an easier drive, consider going to the King of Prussia Mall or Philadelphia Premium Outlets. These outlets, actually located in Limerick, offer amazing deals starting at midnight and, in most cases even earlier. Many stores will open their doors at 9 p.m., with more following by the hour. J. Crew shoppers can enjoy up to 50 percent off holiday apparel, allowing buyers to stock up on their party clothes. Prepare to be cramped, however, because this store seems about as big as the dorms.

The Last Call by Neiman Marcus, on the other hand, takes up a great deal of space and proves to be pretty roomy, but requires plenty of patience for those wishing to take advantage of their 40-percent-off-the-entire-store deal. If sneakers and sportswear are on the shopping list, Adidas (30 percent off storewide), Nike (40 percent off clearance), and Puma (50 percent off storewide) are the places to hit at these outlets.

The Plaza at the King of Prussia Mall contains popular stores such American Eagle, Forever 21, PacSun, Express, and H&M — just to name a few that may interest students. Forever 21 will offer clothes perfect for holiday parties or going out in general, since it’s dropping prices on many of its dresses, tops, and skirts. Buying clothes at cheap prices makes it easier to handle when they get destroyed at frats.

Urban Outfitters, located in the Court portion of the King of Prussia Mall, hasn’t released too many official deals, but if the past tells us anything, the clearance section will be an additional 50 percent off and full of teens jostling for the chunkiest sweaters and the most high-waisted jeans available. Also at The Court is Old Navy for those wishing to stock up on basics. Although they’re not offering last year’s free camera with early morning purchases, shoppers can still enjoy cheap jeans, fleeces, and boots. Don’t forget pajamas, always an option for that person impossible to shop for.

Being an efficient Black Friday shopper requires comfortable shoes, a great deal of patience, and plenty of caffeine. Many stores and malls will say to come in earlier, but beware of traffic heading in that direction. Oftentimes, it’s better to get an hour more sleep and then head over to your shopping destination of choice to avoid the bumper-to-bumper madness. While there’s a natural tendency to be cranky when waking up before the sun rises, keep a level head and be courteous to workers. It will definitely prove to make the experience more enjoyable.

If the idea of the shopping and traffic make you want to hide with a bowl of stuffing, do so while surfing the Internet for deals, since Cyber Monday will quickly approach and offer a less hectic way to shop. Even if you’re not the world’s best bargain hunter, Black Friday allows families and friends to make early morning memories and catch up on life while waiting in lines.

Questions? Email Elizabeth at efurino@fandm.edu.

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