Downsized crowd waiting overnight at Eastwood Mall in Niles for Black Friday deals

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Some shoppers in Niles were willing to camp out through the night for one specific type of gift

NILES, Ohio (WKBN) – It’s Thanksgiving and many of us are accustomed these days to heading out to the local mall or big box store for some holiday shopping after the big meal. But this year, almost all stores opted to stay closed Thursday night and wait until Black Friday to open.

Some shoppers in Niles were willing to camp out through the night for one specific type of gift.

Normally on a Thanksgiving evening, many would be getting a jump on their Black Friday shopping, but the growing impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak are already having an effect on those holiday shopping plans.

The parking lot outside of the Eastwood Mall in Niles would also be filled with cars, but tonight the lots are empty.

The big box stores and shopping malls are still planning a big event for Black Friday, but opted to stay closed Thursday night, expecting a smaller crowd on Thanksgiving thanks to COVID-19.

The most common opening time for Friday is 5 a.m. Walmart, Best Buy, Kohl’s, Old Navy and Dick’s Sporting Goods are all opening at 5 a.m.

Both the Southern Park and Eastwood malls are opening at 6 a.m., as is Bed, Bath and Beyond. Target is opening at 7 a.m. and TJ Maxx at 8 a.m.

Even though the stores are closed for the night, one item still has shoppers lining up to beat the crowds in the morning.

At GameStop locations across the Valley, people are camping out to get their hands on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox One, which have been hard to get online.

“I never thought I was going to do this before but as the high demand was going on, you got to stay in line now, unfortunately. Every time you go online something drops, it’s being bought immediately,” said Kyle Goodbee, who is shopping for an Xbox One.

Kenneth Greathouse lives in Beaver Falls and ended up in Niles to get his hands on the PS 5.

“Drove around for six hours through Pittsburgh and Ohio. Finally found a location where there was nobody at, and this is where I decided to make home for the night,” Greathouse said.

Greathouse, like the others camping outside the main entrance to the Eastwood Mall, has a plan to endure the cold and fight off boredom.

“My girlfriend is coming, she went to the house to go pick up blankets and pillows. We got Uno, we’re going to play some Uno. I don’t know if you all would want to play some Uno?” he said.

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