GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Busy shopping weekends, like this one, usually mean traffic headaches at shopping malls, but shoppers we spoke with at Gulfport Premium Outlets say there was less congestion over the weekend than expected.
To prepare for the holiday shopping rush, orange cones were in place to direct drivers at the Gulfport outlet mall, but the general consensus was that traffic hasn't been an issue.
"It's a win-win for us because we're from New Orleans, so we don't have to fight going to Lakeside. That's where most of the stores are, so we don't have to fight doing that. We just come out here. Traffic wasn't bad, "said one shopper.
As for maneuvering through the mall itself, shoppers seemed to move with ease even though was one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year.
"I don't enjoy the malls. That's why I like being in the outdoor area and being able to just go outside and enjoy the beautiful weather and not have the crowds," said another shopper.
Some shoppers say they avoid Black Friday altogether and wait until the Saturday after to stay out of heavy traffic and long lines.
"I never go out the day after Thanksgiving. This is a very manageable crowd. It's pleasant. I feel like the sales are just as good, as if we were coming out the day after Thanksgiving, "said one woman.
Pam Meinzinger, who is the mall's General Manager, says since the mall has been opening on Thanksgiving Day, she has seen less congestion throughout Black Friday and the days following.
"It's not bad at all. I checked right out at Gap, and it's a really good sale. Their whole store is 50 percent off, and it was really short, in and out," said another shopper.
Meinzinger said aside from this weekend, the other big shopping weekend is the one before Christmas.