A rotating schedule of overnight and early morning store openings significantly checked the Black Friday crowds at the regions major retail destinations, producing a much calmer scene compared to years past.
That's because back then, Black Friday was still confined to early morning store openings, attracting huge crowds of pre-dawn deal-seekers. But this year, with major retailers pushing their opening times further into Thursday territory, the onslaught of shoppers was spread out, leaving relatively normal conditions for those who arrived later in the morning on Friday.
In Burbank, police were deployed to Best Buy and Target overnight Thursday as the first few hundred customers were given wristbands for midnight access. Hundreds more customers, meanwhile, waited in lines that snaked around buildings and into parking lots.
But by 9:30 a.m., the crowds at the Empire Center had subsided substantially. In Target, 11 of the store's 20 check-out lanes were open and the lines weren't exceptionally long.