News / USA

Thousands Rush Macy's Flagship Store for Thanksgiving Shopping

Crowds Rush Into Macy's Herald Square on Thanksgivingi
X
November 29, 2013 3:05 PM
An estimated 15,000 people lined up outside Macy's Herald Square in New York on Thanksgiving with hopes of landing epic bargains ahead of Black Friday.
Sandra Lemaire
Thousands rushed into Macy's flagship Herald Square store in Manhattan Thanksgiving night, ignoring critics who were against the department store chain's decision to break with tradition and open its stores on the holiday this year.

Terry Lundgren, CEO, president and chairman of Macy's estimated the crowd at 15,000 and told the Associated Press they had to open to compete with rivals who also opened on Thanksgiving.  "We're a competitive group," Lundgren said, adding that "It''s very clear they [shoppers] want to be here at 8:00 pm."

A sign inside Macy's Herald Square on Thanksgiving, Nov. 28, 2013. (Photo Sandra Lemaire)A sign inside Macy's Herald Square on Thanksgiving, Nov. 28, 2013. (Photo Sandra Lemaire)
x
A sign inside Macy's Herald Square on Thanksgiving, Nov. 28, 2013. (Photo Sandra Lemaire)
A sign inside Macy's Herald Square on Thanksgiving, Nov. 28, 2013. (Photo Sandra Lemaire)
Other large retailers such as Lord & Taylor, J.C. Penney, Sears and Walmart also opened on Thanksgiving in a bid to get an early start on the Christmas shopping season known in the U.S. as "Black Friday". The term “Black Friday” refers to the point in the year at which retailers begin to turn a profit or are “in the black”.  Most stores remain open for extended hours and offer a variety of discounts.

Emanuel Gomez, a shopper from Ghana has a game plan that includes photos of the items he aims to buy on his smartphone, outside Macy's Herald Square in New York on Thanksgiving, Nov. 28, 2013. (Photo Sandra Lemaire)Emanuel Gomez, a shopper from Ghana has a game plan that includes photos of the items he aims to buy on his smartphone, outside Macy's Herald Square in New York on Thanksgiving, Nov. 28, 2013. (Photo Sandra Lemaire)
x
Emanuel Gomez, a shopper from Ghana has a game plan that includes photos of the items he aims to buy on his smartphone, outside Macy's Herald Square in New York on Thanksgiving, Nov. 28, 2013. (Photo Sandra Lemaire)
Emanuel Gomez, a shopper from Ghana has a game plan that includes photos of the items he aims to buy on his smartphone, outside Macy's Herald Square in New York on Thanksgiving, Nov. 28, 2013. (Photo Sandra Lemaire)
Before Macy's opened, Emmanuel Gomez, a young man from Ghana who was standing in line since 6:00 pm said proudly that he had a game plan. "Every year, I [do] my shopping on Black Friday," he said, showing pictures on his smartphone of the items he came to buy.  "So I plan for it and I never fail."

A pair of women from Eastern Europe said they were hoping for big discounts on winter coats – they waited in line for about two hours as well.


Xiaoguang Zhu, right and Juewei Wang, left from Shanghai, China hope to find deals on leather goods as they wait in line for Macy's Herald Square store to open in New York, on Thanksgiving, Nov. 28, 2013. (Photo Sandra Lemaire)Xiaoguang Zhu, right and Juewei Wang, left from Shanghai, China hope to find deals on leather goods as they wait in line for Macy's Herald Square store to open in New York, on Thanksgiving, Nov. 28, 2013. (Photo Sandra Lemaire)
x
Xiaoguang Zhu, right and Juewei Wang, left from Shanghai, China hope to find deals on leather goods as they wait in line for Macy's Herald Square store to open in New York, on Thanksgiving, Nov. 28, 2013. (Photo Sandra Lemaire)
Xiaoguang Zhu, right and Juewei Wang, left from Shanghai, China hope to find deals on leather goods as they wait in line for Macy's Herald Square store to open in New York, on Thanksgiving, Nov. 28, 2013. (Photo Sandra Lemaire)
And Xiaoguang Zhu and Juewei Wang from Shanghai, China said they had only waited about 15 minutes. “I want to buy some shoes, leather [goods] too,” Zhu said.  “And a Coach purse!” specified Wang as she positioned herself to hurry inside.

Shoppers line up to get on the escalator at Mac's Herald Square on Thanksgiving, Nov. 28, 2013. (Photo Sandra Lemaire)Shoppers line up to get on the escalator at Mac's Herald Square on Thanksgiving, Nov. 28, 2013. (Photo Sandra Lemaire)
x
Shoppers line up to get on the escalator at Mac's Herald Square on Thanksgiving, Nov. 28, 2013. (Photo Sandra Lemaire)
Shoppers line up to get on the escalator at Mac's Herald Square on Thanksgiving, Nov. 28, 2013. (Photo Sandra Lemaire)
The scene inside the store was chaotic as shoppers scrambled for deals. Employees shepherded them in and handed out flyers advertising the best offers and "doorbusters". The line  to get on the escalator was so long, that a store employee had to hold people back.

But was it worth it to leave the comforts of home to shop on Thanksgiving night? Retail analysts predicted bargains and customer service would be key.  Analysts said U.S. consumer confidence is weak, due to increased taxes and high unemployment, and that customers are not spending as freely as in previous years.

Those factors didn’t seem to deter a couple from Venezuela who were first in line at the department store's 7th Avenue entrance. “We are hoping to find some huge discounts,” the husband said. The wife added that they hoped to land a deal on luggage.

At 8:30 pm, New Yorker Lisette Techeira, who was among the first inside was exiting  – shopping bag in tow.  “It’s bananas in there, it really is,” she said, describing the scene inside. “ I mean, I just got a stomach ache – I was going bonkers, I had to get out!”  Techeira said she bought perfume for her mom then decided to get out due to the “pushing and shoving” inside.

Video: Lisette Techeira describes the scene inside Macy's

Black Friday Shopper Lisette Techeirai
X
November 29, 2013 2:44 PM
New Yorker Lisette Techeira was among the first inside Macy's Herald Square store in New York on Thanksgiving and described the scene inside as "bananas" with a lot of "pushing and shoving".

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Kevin from: New York
December 01, 2013 12:29 AM
All I have to say is that secular society has hit an all time low. Thanksgiving is the day to be thankful for what you have, not rush out and get things you don't. I didn't participate, and I think I may abandon the whole thing altogether. Society tramples on what was once held sacred. It's all downhill from here.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs