Maritimers flock to U.S. in search of Black Friday deals
Published Friday, November 23, 2012 7:10PM AST
Thousands of Maritimers are flocking to the state of Maine to take advantage of Black Friday deals and go on a Christmas shopping binge.
Canadian shoppers lined up at the border overnight Thursday to get in on the annual shopping event in the U.S., though some say it falls short of the hype.
New Brunswick consumer Jonathon Stockford pulled an all-night shopping excursion.
“We started in Lincoln, Maine, we went to Bangor and ended up here (in Calais),” he tells CTV News.
By the time Stockford reached Calais, he says the overnight crowds were long gone.
Most Maritimer shoppers crossed into Maine in the early morning hours. Border guards say there were long lineups between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. Friday, leaving border crossings nearly traffic-free for much of the day.
“The line started at Walmart and then went down around the shop…that was at midnight,” says shopper Jerimiah Jamieson.
“You go after the kids go to school and you get 80 per cent of what was on your list anyway, so why would you stay up all night?” says Jennifer Gowan.
However, some Maritimers who arrived later in the morning found this year’s Black Friday deals didn’t live up to the hype.
“I’m very disappointed,” says shopper Patricia Titus. “I’ve been coming down here for 10 to 12 years and they didn’t have the stock they normally have, so I’ll be shopping in Saint John from now on.”
In preparation for Black Friday, businesses in Maine ramped up their Maritime marketing. One tire shop in Calais mailed out thousands of flyers to homes in the Saint John area.
The strategy seems to have worked; hotels and motels throughout Maine are booked solid this weekend.
“I got lots of toys for our four kids. That’s pretty much it. That’s all I was concerned about,” says Amanda Ingrall.
Meanwhile, businesses on the Canadian side will be trying to lure Maritimers into their stores next week, after they cross the border back into Canada.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Mike Cameron