Augusta 'Black Friday' crowds less hectic

The escalator at the mall had its share of shoppers

Crowds were light this morning at the Augusta Mall and nearby retail stores.

There was no traffic congestion and plenty of parking spaces available at the Augusta Mall by 9:30 a.m., as many shoppers had already taken advantage of stores opening Thanksgiving night.

Augusta Mall General Manager Andy Wilke said crowds were large from about 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. This year, the majority of the mall’s shops opened at midnight Friday.

The parking lot at Toys “R” Us remained full but there were many open spaces at neighboring stores TJ Maxx and Ross.

According to a National Retail Federation survey, Black Friday will be the busiest day of the weekend with about 97 million consumers doing their holiday shopping then. About 140 million people nationwide are expected to shop Thanksgiving weekend.