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Posted on Fri, Nov 25, 2011 : 3:48 a.m.

Black Friday crowd gets younger: Midnight store openings draw Ann Arbor area youth

By Lizzy Alfs


Young adults and youth dominated the Black Friday crowd at Briarwood Mall and big-box stores after stores opened at midnight.

Melanie Maxwell |

(See related story: Thousands of Ann Arbor area shoppers line up for midnight deals as Black Friday arrives)

Eastern Michigan University student Nick Ceccolini didn’t have late night plans Thursday after Thanksgiving, so he decided to check out the Black Friday scene at Ann Arbor's Briarwood Mall for the first time with his friends.

“I’m in college. I’d definitely be awake at midnight anyway,” he said. “So I thought I might as well come here and check out what they have. It’s fun to people watch, too.”


At midnight on Thursday, about 45 people waited in line at Champs to get the new Nike Air Jordan shoe. The store would only let one or two people inside at a time.

Melanie Maxwell |

Ceccolini’s sentiment was echoed by a lot of shoppers who came out for Black Friday shopping on Thursday: Stores that opened at midnight for the first time had extra appeal for young people.

Ida Hendrix, general manager of Briarwood, told at 12:15 a.m. that the scene was already dominated by a younger crowd.

“It feels like everyone is 25 [years old] and younger,” she said. “Basically, I see a younger group of shoppers here than past years.”

For the first time in Black Friday history, many big-box stores and retailers in Briarwood opened at midnight or earlier. Toys “R” Us and Walmart started rolling out Black Friday deals as early as 9 p.m. Thursday night.

By 12:01 a.m. Friday, hundreds of shoppers swarmed Briarwood Mall to take advantage of Black Friday markdowns. Many of the shoppers were groups of young adults having their first Black Friday experience.

The same was true at the Target store on Waters Road and Best Buy on Lohr Road, where hundreds of people lined up - or even camped since Wednesday - to get in the stores at midnight.

A group of 18-year-old Ann Arbor high school students smoked hookah and watched the Detroit Lions game on a portable TV inside their tent outside Best Buy.

But for 16-year-old Melanie Kalu, her first-ever Black Friday adventure wasn’t too thrilling. Kalu got in line outside Macy’s at 10 p.m. on Thursday.

“I don’t really think this is a big deal,” she said. “I just came here to see what they have. I think it’s a lot of hype, especially with people my age. But midnight is better because who’s awake at 4 a.m.?”

For Huron High School student Thomas Rozycki, only one thing could drag him to the mall on a Black Friday: The new Nike Air Jordan III Black/Cement shoe that was released at midnight.

Rozycki, along with about 45 other people who were mostly young adults, waited in line starting as early as 6:30 p.m. to get the highly anticipated shoe. Rozycki was one of the first people to get them from Champs Sports, which would only let one or two people in the store at a time to control the crowd.

“This was worth it,” he said. “Pretty soon, on the Internet, these will be going for $300. But I don’t know if I’ll sell mine or not.”

Lizzy Alfs is a business reporter for Reach her at 734-623-2584 or email her at Follow her on Twitter at



Sat, Nov 26, 2011 : 2:57 p.m.

Good place to stay away from, and a sad commentary on our society.


Fri, Nov 25, 2011 : 8:16 p.m.

Briarwood has always catered to the young masses. It is the big box stores that mom and pop and the older generation shop at. I avoid Briarwood like the plague. Glad to hear the young are holding up the rear.

tom swift jr.

Fri, Nov 25, 2011 : 4:05 p.m.

Black Friday at its finest: <a href=",0,3572272.story" rel='nofollow'>,0,3572272.story</a>

Monica R-W

Fri, Nov 25, 2011 : 9:12 p.m.

And Tom...Walmart's locations nationwide were 'off the chain' with 'Black Friday' madness. Wonder what will be done about this in the future, considering in 2008, they had an employee met a untimely death trying to control a crowd of 'deal hungry' shoppers coming into the front doors.... <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Fri, Nov 25, 2011 : 4:01 p.m.

If I ever was elected president my first act would be to BAN BLACK FRIDAY SALES. It's stupid. It endangers the well being of human beings. It taxes the workers, which no one seems to care about now as long as they get that stupid video game for $5 instead of $55. People were pepper sprayed in a Walmart in California. We're not above yet being decent. We're still a mob, selfish and cruel.


Sat, Nov 26, 2011 : 2:55 p.m.

You got it right.It just shows the commercialism of our society. If you don't get what you want at a store, pepper spray 'em! That is so wrong and so sad.


Fri, Nov 25, 2011 : 10:57 p.m.

&quot; It's stupid. It endangers the well being of human beings. It taxes the workers&quot; While you're at it, ban fast food, since it endangers far more people with thei artery clogging fat they serve. Also, ban all theaters, since it taxes workers who have to work at midnight 9and all holidays) so you and yours can see the Muppet movie. Why don't you just wait until it comes on DVD and spare these poor workers. Also, ban restaurants too. Any person knows food can be served at home. Why should you &quot;tax a worker&quot; by making them work on a Friday or Saturday night. And don't forget to ban all sports, since it really provides nothing other than entertainment to millions of people, and in your totalitarian state we know entertainment is for the &quot;mob who are selfish and cruel&quot; If you don't like Black Friday, DONT GO. Wow, and you still allow those who want to participate a CHOICE.

Monica R-W

Fri, Nov 25, 2011 : 12:11 p.m.

So younger people went looking for shoes, to see the thrills of &quot;Black Friday Midnight&quot; shopping and to window shop the mall. Ms. Hendrix meanwhile thinks that a good thing. Ultra capitalism, at its finest, I guess. If you didn't spend all of money at the mall or just refused to go out at all....wake up a normal hours and support local business for true economy stability instead... <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>