Black Friday draws shoppers to Cranberry Mall

While it may not be getting the crowds it did years ago, the Cranberry Mall in Seneca still saw a steady influx of shoppers in the holiday mood on Black Friday.

“It’s been steady—we’ve had one or two rushes, but pretty much all steady,” said William Goodland, who works at JoAnn Fabrics in the mall. “We opened at 8 a.m. and we’ve not been without people since.”

He added that he thought traffic was up this year from the last two years, which didn’t surprise him because of COVID.

“I can remember prior to that difficulty, it was darn busy,” Goodland added.

Samantha Hugar, manager of the clothing outlet Maurice’s in the mall, said that while she thought traffic was “a little slower than normal” for them, it “seems to be picking up.”

In general, she said Black Friday is a busy day for the store.

“The last several years, we’ve been doing really well on Black Friday,” Hugar said.

Some of the small businesses don’t offer the same kind of Black Friday deals as bigger chain stores, but they still benefited from the Black Friday crowds.

Suzi Young of Inspire Me Gifts, which sells apparel and accessories such as jewelry and bags as well as home décor items, said that her store was benefitting from the Bath and Body Works shoppers across the concourse.

“Being a gift store, this is never my biggest day—people come here after they get the big deals,” Young said. “But we’ve had quite a lot of people, which is good. I am quite pleased right now.”

Jane Harmon, owner of home décor store Nell’s Crafts, said that for her business, last year was “way above average” and this year was back to average.

“I’m not complaining, that’s still fine,” she added cheerfully. “My best day is the Christmas open house. It’s just jammed with people.”

Harmon said she holds two open houses a year — one in the spring and one in the fall- and this year’s fall open house was held two weekends ago.

“Black Friday isn’t such a big one any more, but from now to Christmas it will be busy,” she added.

In the mall concourse, several vendors with temporary tables were set up near the Christmas tree selling their wares.

“Last year was a little slow, but I think more people are walking through this year,” said vendor Connie Shull, who is an independent consultant for Thirty-One. “I think I saw more people here than at Walmart.”

Shull said the vendors set up in the concourse were affiliated with Relay for Life and had set up there to help bring traffic and money into the mall.

The Relay for Life vendors will be at the mall again today.

“I do numerous events here to help bring traffic,” Shull said.

She added that all the vendor fees for the hallway vendors would be going to Relay for Life, which will hold another event next Saturday at the Oil City Knights of Columbus for Oil City’s Christmas Past celebration.

“The economy’s bad,” she said, “but people are going to keep buying gifts for friends and family.”


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