Much like the crowd of wizards, werewolves and vampires eagerly awaiting a midnight movie premiere, Black Friday diehards in Hawaii now kick off their holiday shopping in a similar fashion – crowding mall entrances hours before the 12 a.m. opening. More and more bargain hunters and businesses throughout the nation have been making the move to maximize momentum for holiday shopping, even if it means cutting Thanksgiving short.

Why? Because of those doorbuster deals and the mellower mood overall (thanks to the turkey tryptophan). Pearlridge Center recently started opening several of its shops at the stroke of midnight. Other malls usually open at 6 a.m. (some of its stores may open earlier). My sister and I decided to brave the midnight crowd at Pearlridge yesterday, energized from a prior cat nap and some coffee. But still, we were a bit hesitant. Would this be worth it?

Thurs., 11:55pm – An anxious, yet orderly, Black Friday crowd at Pearlridge.

Several shopping bags later, and I’d say we scored! We did pretty well in checking off a few peeps from our lists, and best of all, there wasn’t much pushing or shoving once the mall entrances opened. This is nothing like the screaming and stampeding that I’ve seen once doors open on the mainland. Hawaii’s Black Friday is far from a contact sport because somehow, the crowds at Pearlridge poured through in an orderly fashion – yet, you could still feel an underlying excitement starting to build. What a thrill!

Usually, I’m not one to give into the Black Friday madness. I prefer the simple click-click of the mouse method in shopping online; it requires very little physical effort and can be done in no time at all. But I have to say that the midnight Black Friday shopping wasn’t really that crazy, and I’d definitely do it again next year. There were a few shops – like Radio Shack – that had a line out the door, but for the most part, the lines moved quickly.

Black Friday, 12:45am – Girls gone wild for doorbuster deals at Charlotte Russe.

Whether you shop on Thanksgiving Day or on Black Friday, it’s always best to be prepared. Do a quick search as to which shops have the best deals and head there first. You’ll most likely see the “Buy 1, Get 1 Half Off” deals or “Everything 30% Off.” But there are also doorbuster deals, which end within two or three hours of opening, so choose your “battles” wisely!


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