For the first time since 2019, shopping in-person was back to full capacity for Black Friday, and shoppers at the Champlain Centre mall were happy to see it.

“It’s been awhile since I’ve gone out for Black Friday, but there’s so many people out, if you look around the mall just here where we’re standing, you can see lines and people are happy and they’re excited to be out,” said shopper Sue Hagar. “I found some great deals, and it’s great to see family and friends out again.”

Canadian visitors were also happy to be back shopping at the mall now that the border is open once again.

“Overall, I love it. I love the Black Friday experience,” said Danny Haydock.

The excitement and great deals are tempered a bit by inflation this year, as Shellie Manning pointed out.

“We’re a little bit more selective for holiday shopping, paycheck to paycheck you know, that’s how we’re living nowadays,” she said.

Manning said extended Black Friday deals have helped with her holiday shopping, so she can spread it out more while still taking advantage of sales.

Heather Curry owns the Willows Boutique in the mall and spoke about her Black Friday experience.

“We definitely have more traffic this year so far than I remember from last year. Our sales, where we’re at as far as the day is, is definitely exceeding our goals,” she said.

Anyone looking to meet Santa can come to the Champlain Centre mall on Friday, December 2nd, from 11 am to 7 pm.