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Black Friday breaks records for Galleria

By: ToLewis, The Press Tribune
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Holiday shoppers hit the stores in droves Friday, beginning at midnight at the Westfield Galleria at Roseville, where more than 10,000 people lined up outside waiting for the doors to open. Early-bird shoppers were treated to a party at center court with food, music, prizes and give-a-ways. About 140 stores opened at midnight at the Galleria, with most of the rest opening at 4 a.m. The popular shopping mall saw more than 250,000 shoppers throughout the holiday weekend, with more than 165,000 of those shoppers coming on Black Friday, according to Gavin Farnam, senior general manager at the Galleria. “We had record breaking days,” Farnam said. “Our traffic numbers were higher than they have ever been.” The record number of people caused havoc for some shoppers, including Anamika Alam, whose daughter was injured after a mass of people tried to shove their way in at H&M to try and get a winning gift card scratcher. “People were pushing us and they wouldn’t open the doors, so we were just like locked down,” Alam said. “That’s horrible.” Others described the midnight shopping scene as like a stampede. “People have been jumping, pushing,” said shopper Derek Shimozaki. “It’s been so bad, they are like rioting out there.” Roseville’s busiest retail areas, such as the Galleria, Best Buy, Fry’s Electronics, Toys R Us and others, were very busy from about 9 p.m. Thanksgiving night on through Black Friday, according to Dee Dee Gunther of the Roseville Police Department. “Our officers handled some minor disturbances and scuffles here and there, but generally they provided extra patrol and police presence in the busiest areas,” Gunther said. The Roseville Police Department reported no shopping-related injuries or incidents requiring an arrest, other than routine shoplifting arrests over the weekend. Daniel Wetter contributed to this report. Toby Lewis can be reached at tobyl@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @TobyLewis_RsvPT.