Friday, November 16, 2012
Local retailers to open Thanksgiving night to begin Black Friday sales
Vista Ridge Mall opens on Black Friday for the first time.
LEWISVILLE While some people will be still enjoying Thanksgiving Day, others will begin their holiday shopping earlier than ever before.
In an ever increasing trend, every year stores are pushing back its opening times, but this year more stores than ever will open Thanksgiving Day. On Thursday, November 22 Toys R Us, Wal-Mart, Sears, and KMart will open their doors to bargain hunters at 8 p.m.
Target will open at 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving, three hours earlier than last year. Best Buy, Kohl's, and Sports Authority will all open at midnight.
Also, for the first time, Vista Ridge Mall will open its doors at midnight Friday, November 23.
"It's becoming more and more prevalent that a midnight opening is more of an event, and that's what we want to make it at Vista Ridge Mall," said Leanne Lowry, general manager of Vista Ridge Mall. "We're partnering with Collin Creek Mall to try to make it a fun thing for people to be here on Black Friday."
Retail stores have been experimenting with earlier opening times for years. In 2011, Toys R Us opened at 9 p.m., but by 8:45 p.m. there were more than 600 people in line. Amy Keliikoa arrived at the store at 3 p.m. last year and was the first in line. At Best Buy, Chris Bass arrived at the store at 8 p.m. Wednesday for last year's Black Friday sales. He was first in line.
While shoppers seem eager to take advantage of the earlier hours, not all store employees are on board. According to multiple news reports, California resident and Target employee Casey St. Clair started a Change.org petition asking the Target CEO to not open Thanksgiving Day. So far, there are more than 200,000 signatures.
"I'm not aware of any problems here at the mall," Lowry said. "Anyone who's in retail sees the same trends we see. Because there's so much competition it's important to keep changing with the trends."
At Vista Ridge Mall, shoppers may stop in the center court to pick up an "I Survived Black Friday Shopping" bag that's filled with retailer coupons, special offers and an assortment of other gifts including a bottle of water, pocket-sized anti-bacteria gel from Bath & Body Works, a commemorative holiday ornament and more. The bags are available, while supplies last.
In addition, every half hour from 12:30 a.m. to 6 a.m., Vista Ridge Mall will have drawings for prizes. The prizes include items such as electronics, baskets brimming with pampering items, automobile emergency kits and more. For the last drawing, held at 6 a.m., one shopper will win the grand prize - a $1,000 shopping spree. Shoppers pick up, complete, and submit the form at the registration area in center court to be registered to win.
"This is the first time we're giving away the bags so early," Lowry said. "This year the prizes are a higher dollar value than last year. We're also doing a different marketing event this year. We're doing a lot of the same prep work as any Black Friday event. We're getting bags ready and trying to be as welcoming to the community as possible."
Mall elves will join shoppers at Vista Ridge Mall from midnight to 6 a.m., randomly handing out gifts for shoppers including gift certificates for the food court, chocolates, free movie tickets, and other gifts.
Shoppers who spend $175 or more at Vista Ridge Mall retailers between midnight and 6 a.m. are eligible to receive two movie tickets to Cinemark Vista Ridge. In order to claim the tickets, shoppers should go to the redemption zone in the center court. Only receipts dated November 23 from 12:01 a.m. to 6 a.m. will be validated and one pair of tickets will be handed out per person, while supplies last.
"At Vista Ridge Mall, our retailers are planning the special offers and sales, and we're adding in just the right amount of fun. We have prizes and we have surprises. Imagine you are walking through the mall, in an early-morning fog searching for bargains, and pop someone hands you a cup of coffee and a free breakfast coupon. What a treat. That's the kind of fun Vista Ridge Mall has planned for shoppers. Special offers and all sorts of surprises, just to make the shopping at Vista Ridge Mall even better," said Leanne Lowry, general manager of Vista Ridge Mall.
Vista Ridge Mall is closed Thursday, November 22 for Thanksgiving. The shopping center will open at midnight Friday and close at 9 p.m. On Saturday, November 24, hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday, November 25, hours are noon to 6 p.m.
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