SUNRISE, Fla. – Hope Gilligan was up early to spend Black Friday in Sunrise. She noticed Sawgrass Mills, one of the most popular outlet shopping malls in South Florida, was not as hectic as in previous years.
Gilligan was proud. She found a $400 purse for $160 and she didn't think twice about buying it.
"We had to catch all the specials on designer purses," Gilligan said before sunrise.
The mall was not as crowded as it has been in previous years.
Before the doors of the Kate Spade store opened, there dozens already waiting in line. Michael Kors was offering 70 percent off.
Those who were expecting to buy more than they could carry showed up with luggage to the mall. With 2.3 million square feet of retail selling space, the mission can be overwhelming.
Chris Valle, the marketing director at Sawgrass Mills, suggests shoppers use the mall's color-coded map. The mall has four main sections and a "Fashion Avenue" subsection. For those who need to take a break, the mall also has The Oasis, which has a movie theater and restaurants.
Last Call by Neiman Marcus anchors the mall's Colonnade area, which opened in 2006 and has had expansions in 2009 and 2016. That's where Gilligan found her designer purse. The area also has St. John, Tory Burch, Tommy Bahama, Coach, Burberry and Barneys New York.
Tourists come from as far as Brazil to stay at the hotels nearby for trips dedicated to finding bargains.
"We’re expect a very robust shopping season as it typically is," Valle said.