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Mall of America welcomes 100,000 Thanksgiving night shoppers

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A big start for the holiday shopping season was recorded at the country's largest shopping mall.

The Associated Press reports that some 100,000 customers came to the Mall of America in Bloomington between 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving evening and 1 a.m. on Friday.

Dan Jasper, a spokesman for the mall, noted that traffic slowed after 2 a.m. but began been picking up again as the day progressed on Friday.

While the number is impressive, it has a ways to go to reach a new high in its number of shoppers, but mall managers are optimistic that might happen. The Mall of America attracted 230,000 visitors in the Thursday-to-Friday period last year.

"We think we can break that record," Jasper tells The Associated Press.

WCCO reported that thousands of shoppers were at the mall in the wee hours of Friday morning. Not every store in the mall was open overnight; some waited to open for the first time on Friday morning.

The Pioneer Press reported that the Mall of America was one of several regional malls that planned extended and overnight hours. The newspaper reported that malls would experiment with a new pattern of opening earlier on Thanksgiving night, then closing to get some sleep before reopening for morning shoppers. The exception was the anchor department stores, which remained open all night. The Maplewood Mall, Southdale Center and Ridgedale Center were among the regional centers trying that strategy.

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