With retailers vying for your holiday dollars, stores and malls are pulling out all the stops to lure you into their establishments for Black Friday. So what can you expect from local businesses and malls, if you decide to brave the crowds on one of the busiest shopping days of the year?
The Mall at Prince George’s marketing director Victoria Clark, who has overseen six previous Black Friday sales at the mall, expects that this year will be different from previous years because stores are opening earlier than ever.
“With the early opening of Target (on Thanksgiving night), I expect we’ll be busy at midnight, but we’re ready.” Clark mentioned that for the rest of the mall’s stores, full security and customer service teams will be on hand at 5 a.m. Friday.
“Security will help direct traffic, and we’ll have juice and cookies, plus some special coupons and things at the customer service desk,” she said.
Visit The Mall at Prince George’s website for more information.
Marketing director Joanna Caputi of Westfield Montgomery in Bethesda said the mall will open at midnight Thursday for the second year in a row.
“We’ll have fresh-brewed coffee and a DJ to keep shoppers’ spirits and energy high,” she said.
The mall will also have giveaways each hour, on the hour, with prizes including a $50 Banana Republic gift card, a Keurig coffee maker and gifts from other mall retailers.
Caputi also stated that she expects double or triple the number of shoppers that visiting Westfield Montgomery on a typical weekend day, and that mall security will be available both inside and outside the mall to help customers find parking spaces, stores and provide any other assistance as needed.
At local Target stores, shoppers can expect one or more of a number of crowd management plans, according to Evan Miller, who works in Target’s public relations department.
“Some stores may use tactics such as metering, a process to control guests entering the store with periodic breaks to ensure pathways are clear,” Miller said via email.
“All stores incorporate a buffer zone of about 10 feet between the store entrance and the beginning of the line. Additionally, interior crowd management techniques, including clearly marking where and how guests should line up to check out, help stores mitigate potential line management challenges,” he continued.
Do you plan to shop on Black Friday? Take our poll below!