Parking lot at International Plaza hit capacity on Black Friday

The parking lot hit capacity around 2pm
Full parking lot
Posted at 7:25 PM, Nov 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-26 19:45:17-05

TAMPA, FLA. — Customers came to International Plaza and Bay Street to look for Black Friday deals.

Shoppers went to the mall looking to spend money on Christmas presents or on gifts for themselves.

"I got a pair of sunglasses for my dad for Christmas and a couple tops from Express," Stefanie Morris.

The mall officially opened at 9 a.m. on Black Friday, but doors to International Plaza opened at 7:00 a.m. Customers lined up outside stores before doors even opened.

Some customers said they prefer shopping at the mall rather than online.

"I like the experience better talking to the workers and then they help you. You get to try things on in person instead of finding them online, getting them, realizing you hate it and then having to go through the whole return process," said Francesca Bermudez, a customer at International Plaza.

International Plaza is celebrating its 20th year. This year, sales are on track to exceed 2019 sales.

"It was very busy, a lot more busier than I expected. It to took us like 20 minutes just to find a spot to come in," said Morris.

The parking lot at the mall hit capacity at 2:00 p.m. The parking lots hold nearly 7,000 cars.

Big retailers like Target closed their doors on Thanksgiving for the second straight year. Shoppers said the extra family time was nice.

"I really got to enjoy a lot more time with my family than thinking about when are we going to leave and go to the store for midnight deals, but I really enjoyed it," said Morris.