ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Black Friday always brings out huge crowds to the mall, but there are people who don't want to go near all that activity on this day and went instead looking for alternatives.
The mad, early morning shopping rush of Black Friday makes it seem like whole world is out at the mall. But that is really not the case.
This year, outdoor retailer REI closed all 143 of its stores on Black Friday and asked people to opt outside. More than a million agreed to do so on the company’s website.
Judging by the two-mile back up waiting to get into Great Falls on Friday, many locals were among that group.
“We thought it was a great idea and wanted to get out and enjoy, especially today with the weather,” said D.C. resident Keri Ann Hayes.
There were big crowds at Teddy Roosevelt Island also. Hayes, her daughter and a friend were among them.
“Instead of standing in line going shopping, I was actually really happy to get a chance to enjoy the nice outdoors instead of staying inside a mall,” said 13-year-old Elizabeth Drelichman.
Instead of merchandise, people here said they will walk away from this day with something a little more priceless.
“A memorable day instead of more stuff that you don't need in your house,” said Maggie Hayes.
A group of friends were encountered ran seven miles together on a route that didn't come close to a shopping mall.
“It’s just not a good place to be to be today,” said Norm Balchunas. “Support local if you got to go out, but just go outside and be thankful. So we got group of friends here to be able to turn around and go out running. We didn't want to be part of it.”
“We're out here enjoying each other,” said Tim Parrish. “That's what we're getting out of the day and I hope the REI employees are getting the same thing with their families since they have a day off.”
If shopping malls aren't your thing, maybe this is a little more up your alley. For the fourth year in a row, Virginia ABC stores took part in Black Friday sales too.
The carts here are filled with a different kind of holiday purchase, but it is also discounted. These Black Friday deals offer 10 to 15 percent off thousands of products in the store.
If you missed the sales at Virginia ABC stores, never fear. They are going to offer their first ever Cyber Monday sales too with 10 and 15 percent discounts on more than 200 products on the agency's website.