NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Hundreds of shoppers headed to the Tanger Outlets, starting at six o’clock Friday morning, searching for the best deals and savings ahead of the holidays.

Lowcountry shoppers are hitting the stores in droves this Black Friday.

“Just to get in here,” Black Friday shopper Lara Rae said, “I feel fortunate because it was very crowded.”

Outlet representatives say they’ve seen more customers shopping this year compared to previous years, which were impacted by COVID-19.

“Traffic has been incredibly strong,” Tanger Outlets Charleston general manager Jaime Morris said, “and I think the shoppers are ready to get out and be in the mix with everybody again and kind of feel that traditional spirit of holiday shopping.”

Morris says their staff has done an excellent job of accommodating guests during one of their busiest days of the year.

“All of these employees are out here ready to provide great holiday experiences,” she said. “We are a living, breathing part of the community, so just to see everybody in crowds having a great time, and smiling kids running around having fun, it really does fill all of us with joy. That’s why we’re here doing this every day, so it’s been great.”

And shoppers say they’ve enjoyed their time at Tanger.

“It’s nice,” Black Friday shopper Cydney said, “like the deals, you know? The good things that you can buy. It’s a cool experience.”

“It’s a wonderful thing,” shopper Rocky said. “The prices are great.”

One thing many shoppers say they’re thankful for this Black Friday is that shopping actually started on Friday rather than on Thanksgiving, like in years past.

“I think it’s better,” Rae said. “You shouldn’t force people to not have Thanksgiving with their family. I just think it’s a better vibe out here, you don’t have people fighting with each other, nobody’s angry, everyone is still very polite. I think it’s a good experience out here. Come on down to the Tanger.”