With 1.5 meter coaches and monitoring of the number of visitors, the newly opened outlet center in Halfweg armed itself against the Black Friday crowds. ‘On days one and two there is a queue from 10 a.m.
“I was there yesterday too,” says Nancy Hollands (49) from Amsterdam-West, while showing off the brand new sneakers at her feet. A day after the opening of The Style Outlets, she is back on Black Friday with a friend. For sportswear and underwear. “And I don’t even like outlets. Way to busy. But it is still nice here. And an extra discount, huh. ”
The organization of the newly opened outlet center, where three-quarters of the more than 100 retail spaces are rented, took into account large crowds due to, among other things, the start of the bargain weekend that blown over from America.
Visitors were warned in advance: shop before noon or after 5 pm. In consultation with the security region, two thousand people may enter at the same time. If there are more, the doors will temporarily close, which they want to prevent by spreading the visitor numbers. There is equipment in various places that keeps track of how many people are already walking through the outlet village and one and a half meter coaches monitor whether shoppers are not getting too close to each other.
By train from Haarlem
There are quite a lot of people in the shopping streets, in a children’s clothing store it seems crowded around the shelves, but elsewhere sellers are in a practically empty shop. It was not too busy yet, says one of the coaches, “but you have to say something about it when people get too close to each other”.
Friends Paula Szypilko (31) and Anna Kusma (42) took the spreading advice to heart and arrived at 9:00 am. One came by train from Haarlem, the other by bicycle from Amsterdam. They do not have to work today, were curious about the new outlet center that is perfectly on the route for them, and the hefty discounts are not annoying either. The loot of a morning of shopping: at least six bags full, half of which are filled with Christmas shopping. “The other half is for ourselves.”
The sports shops in particular are crowd pullers. At Nike there is a row that already assumes an Efteling-like proportion and at Puma and Adidas people are also waiting outside. Adidas floor manager Gijs van Bommel (23) is a bit surprised. “We were worried that people would avoid crowded places like this a bit due to corona, but on days one and two there is a queue from 10am. We did not expect this. ”
For more than ten years there was a struggle for the arrival of the outlet center, owned by the Spanish Neinver. Fashion retailers in the area fear competition. And for surrounding municipalities, the possible nuisance and traffic congestion were reasons to want to stop the arrival of the shopping village. But the parking lot is half full on Black Friday at 11 a.m. and there is still plenty of space in the garage, there does not seem to be any traffic chaos yet.
Aad and Wilma Hummel (61 and 58) thought it was nice to drive on from Heemskerk. Go straight into the garage. “Great,” says Aad. “This is so easy, close and all the shops together. Then you will succeed anyway. ” The couple is taking a shopping break with chips, but is not ready yet. Jogging pants are yet to come, and who knows what else. “We don’t go home until we can no longer lift the bags.”
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