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Shoppers experience ‘madness’ at outlet mall

Midnight event starts early

POSTED: November 25, 2011 12:05 p.m.
Tom Reed DCN regional staff/

All of the North Georgia Premium Outlets nearly 140 shops were open by midnight, though shoppers started arriving by 6 p.m. to try to be first in line.

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The madness in Dawsonville started early Thursday as bargain hunters began arriving at North Georgia Premium Outlets for the center's annual Midnight Madness after Thanksgiving shopping event.

Jakia Hopgood drove in from Decatur hoping to find a deal on designer handbags.

Standing about a hundred deep in a line of nearly 400, Hopgood said she didn't mind the long lines or the brisk weather.

"The lines are long and it's too cold, but we're hearing Coach has everything for 30 percent off," she said.

This year was the first time stores at the outlets advertised opening as early as 9 p.m. for the annual Midnight Madness event.

All of the center's nearly 140 shops were open by midnight, though shoppers started arriving by 6 p.m. to try to be first in line.

On a quick break from his job at an outlet store, Lance Adams took a seat next to a man and his sleeping child on a bench outside Banana Republic.

"I've worked a couple Black Fridays before. It gets pretty crazy. One year I was at the cash register for eight hours nonstop," he said.

As in previous years, the parking at the center filled to capacity quickly, leaving shoppers to park at adjacent businesses, along Ga. 400 and across the highway at Walmart.

Deputies reported Ga. 400 traffic backed up for miles and pedestrians crossing the busy roadway throughout the overnight hours.

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