Black Friday shoppers sparse in Newark despite free parking

(11/26/04) NEWARK An early Christmas gift for shoppers seems to have done little for Newark businesses on Black Friday.

The city of Newark is offering free parking in its downtown section until the December 26. The idea behind the parking gift is to bring more shoppers to Newark for the holiday season. However, some business owners and shoppers say the shopping crowds were noticeably light on whats typically the busiest shopping day of the year.

Despite the noticeably sparse crowds, business owners say they expect the volume of shoppers to pick up as Christmas draws closer. Some store employees say the calm atmosphere and variety of stores will bring gift-seekers to Newark during the next few weeks.

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