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Home / Neighborhood / Los Angeles / Shoppers galore seek deals on Black Friday in Los Angeles

Shoppers galore seek deals on Black Friday in Los Angeles

by City News Service
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Tens of thousands of shoppers visited malls and stores Friday for Black Friday, with the Los Angeles Police Department pledging to operate with increased vigilance during the busy holiday shopping season.

“Recognizing the potential for heightened criminal activity and an increased number of shoppers, the LAPD is working hard to ensure the safety and security of residents and visitors,” Officer Melissa Ohana told City News Service.

“Officers are actively patrolling shopping centers and coordinating with local businesses to deter and respond to potential threats. The goal is to create a safe and secure environment to allow the community to enjoy the holiday festivities. Community members are reminded to remain vigilant, park in well-lit, secure areas, keep valuables out of view, and report any suspicious activity.”

“The LAPD remains committed to proactive community engagement and collaborative efforts to enhance public safety during this festive period.”

Some police officers got an early taste of why the extra presence was needed, as hundreds of pro-Palestine protesters rallied in the Fairfax District, marching through city streets and into The Grove shopping center as part of a nationwide effort demanding an immediate and lasting ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war, as well as an end to U.S. aid for Israel.

The group gathered at 10 a.m. in Pan Pacific Park, adjacent to The Grove, which was bustling with shoppers. A short time later, the crowd moved out of the park and began marching on city streets around the area, passing entrances to The Grove. Eventually, several hundred protesters began marching through the outdoor shopping center itself.

The group then moved back onto city streets, circling the area before eventually gathering at Third Street and Fairfax Avenue, where many sat in the intersection. The group also brought in several trucks to block traffic in all directions.

Reports from the scene indicated some small skirmishes erupted during the march, but there were no immediate reports of arrests or injuries.

LAPD officers were stationed around entrances to The Grove in an effort to prevent protesters from reentering the shopping center or Farmers’ Market property.

The LAPD then went on a citywide tactical alert in response to the march, allowing the agency to keep officers on duty beyond their normal shifts to respond to a major incident.

Later Friday evening, a shooting broke out at the Northridge Fashion Center, but no injuries were reported.

Police responded to the mall at 9301 Tampa Ave. at around 5:50 p.m. No arrests were immediately reported, but aerial footage showed that a plate glass window at H2O Sushi & Izakaya restaurant was shattered, ABC7 reported.

The California Highway Patrol was increasing statewide efforts to combat organized retail crime as the holiday shopping season begins, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday.

“The California Highway Patrol — working with allied agencies — is increasing enforcement efforts and conducting and supporting covert and confidential takedowns to stop these criminals in their tracks during the holiday season and year-round,” Newsom said.

Most J.C. Penney stores opened at 5 a.m., and Macy’s, Best Buy, Target, Dick’s Sporting Goods and The Home Depot at 6 a.m.

According to an annual survey released Nov. 16 by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics, an estimated 182 million people were planning to shop in stores or online from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, the highest estimate since the federation began tracking the data in 2017 and 15.7 million more than the previous high of 166.3 million set last year.

While the five-day shopping event that begins on Thanksgiving Day and continues through the following Monday typically represents some of the busiest shopping days of the year, consumer behavior has shifted in recent years, with many consumers preferring to spread their shopping over the entire season, according to the National Retail Federation, the world’s largest retail trade association.

According to the survey, 74% of holiday shoppers planned to shop during the five-day Thanksgiving weekend, a five-percentage-point increase from the 69% in 2019, the last Christmas season before the coronavirus pandemic.

The top reasons consumers plan to shop are because the deals are too good to pass up, 61%, and tradition, 28%.

Black Friday continues to be the most popular day to shop, with 72%, or 130.7 million, planning to shop then, up from 69% in 2022. Cyber Monday is again second with 39%, 71.1 million.

The survey found that clothing continued to top the list of what people plan to buy during Christmas shopping at 56%, followed by gift cards, 44%; toys, 37%; books, video games and other media, 31%; and food/candy, 29%.

Legos and Hot Wheels were the top two toys shoppers told pollsters they planned to buy for boys for the second consecutive year. Cars were third, followed by the PlayStation video game system and video games. Trucks were sixth and Nerf products were seventh.

Spider-Man-related items tied for eighth with remote-control cars. Pokémon items were 10th, down four spots from 2022, returning to where they were in 2021.

The top two on the list for girls was the same as 2021 and 2022 — Barbie dolls and any doll. Legos were third, up one spot from 2022. Makeup was fourth, also up one spot from 2022. Clothes were fifth. LOL Surprise! dolls were sixth, down three spots from both 2021 and 2022.

Baby dolls were seventh, up three spots from 2022. Squishmallows plush toys were eighth, down two spots from 2022. Arts and crafts and the Barbie Dreamhouse tied for ninth.

The survey of 8,424 adult consumers was conducted Nov. 1-6 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.1 percentage points.

Last Chance for Animals conducted its 37th annual Black Friday Fur-Free Friday protest in Beverly Hills, seeking to pressure brands with stores on Rodeo Drive to adopt a global fur-free policy. The sale of new fur products in California has been banned since Jan. 1.

Brands targeted were Dior, Fendi, Loro Piana, Louis Vuitton, Philipp Plein, Max Mara and Stefano Ricci, according to Lisa Beal, the campaign director of Last Chance for Animals.

Black Friday was also the 32nd annual “Buy Nothing Day,” with Adbusters, which conceived the day, encouraging the public to “keep the credit card holstered,” “keep your cash in your jeans” and “give five bucks to a homeless person. Have a heart-to-heart chat with a friend.

Adbusters describes itself as “a global network of activists, writers, artists, designers, hackers, tricksters, poets, philosophers and punks.”

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