ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) –  It’s one of the biggest shopping days of the year, but despite doorbusters and steep discounts, the holiday deals weren’t enough to bring in large crowds this black friday. While some shoppers are grateful for the lack of crowds… others say the shopping frenzy they once felt many years ago hasn’t returned since the height of the pandemic.

“We got up early but the crowds are a lot less than they used to be,” said shopper Audrey Gates. “I went before the pandemic, so in comparison to that it’s like, I think it’s a little bit lower key,”added Charlotte Gates. Despite the deals across big box stores, some shoppers say this holiday season they are holding out on the shopping experience, giving big box stores a run for their money.

However, some shoppers looking to get their hands on the best deals say they strategized their Black Friday experience… some waking up before sunrise to beat the crowds, but to their surprise the crowds weren’t there. “Honestly, it’s not that bad right now, it’s not crazy, it’s pretty chill. Just came to get a T.V. it was half price off it was $270 it was worth like $500,” said shopper, Oscar Huerta.

Other shoppers eager to pull out their wallets this black Friday say the competitive prices this season has changed the experience. “I think there are a lot more deals online and the discounts that exist are lower than they used to be,” added Audrey Gates. “It’s definitely different, I think prices are a lot more expensive and you have to be a little bit more careful with what we are buying, but we make the best of it,” added Stephanie Jaramillo.

With rising costs, some shoppers say they are seeing the impact. “It’s definitely been hard for everyone, especially for the job situation and everything but I feel like it’s gotten better,” said Jacqueline Herrera. Despite the lackluster of crowds this shopping season, some shoppers say they’re out for the experience. “This is just great coming out and watching everybody else do all of their Christmas shopping,it’s great.”

With an anticipation of more shoppers during the holidays, the Bernalillo County’s Sheriff’s Office says they will have an increase in patrols to recruitment as well as to help keep a watchful eye at Coronado Center this holiday season.