It is 4:30 a.m. and shoppers are crowded outside of Broadway Square Mall on Nov. 26; Black Friday. People stand bundled in their winter coats. An unexpected cold front occurred the night before and continued throughout the early hours of the morning. Children tugged on their mother’s coats, asking when they could go inside. Husbands looked annoyed as they held on to their wives’ handbags and coffee. Shoppers are too annoyed to answer any questions or even smile. Perhaps the constant cutting in line made them irritated. Security was on standby, ensuring there were no riots. Until finally, after the minutes seemed like hours, the doors opened.
“Black Friday is known as the busiest shopping day of the year,” Director of Marketing & Business Development at Broadway Square Mall Aaron Yust said. “This day also marks the beginning of the busy shopping season. The term Black Friday has been applied to the day after Thanksgiving in which retailers make enough sales to put themselves ‘into the black.'”
“Black ink” or “being in the black” often refers to retailers making a profit. In the past, businesses would often write all of their losses in red ink and everything else in standard black. Yust said he expects heavy shopping throughout the holiday season.
“To avoid the onslaught of shoppers, pick your shopping time wisely,” he said. “The best time to shop is on midweek mornings at 11 a.m. Peak shopping occurs on Saturday afternoons.”
Broadway Square Mall was scheduled to open at 5 a.m. with select retailers opening at midnight. Toys R Us opened the night before and Walmart continued its 24-hr services with an electronic sale at 5 a.m. And after a trampling fatality in
a Walmart last year on Black Friday, Yust said the mall will be taking safety precautions.
“No matter what the occasion, we always do our best to ensure a safe shopping environment for our visitors, employees and retailers,” he said. “We work closely with local law enforcement and also retain security personnel at the mall. We also provide customers with security escorts to their vehicles upon request.”
Yust was able to provide a list of shopping and safety advice for people who plan on shopping throughout the season.
“Be sure to have all forms of payment, credit cards, gift cards, cash and ID,” he said. “Dress in layers so that you can easily adjust your clothing from the climate outside and inside. Wear a handbag with a strap that you can put across your body and keep in front of you. Ask cashiers about their return policies and to never to put your receipt in the bag; always keep receipt in a safe and designated area in your purse, wallet or handbag.”
Yust said that shopping ahead could also guarantee an effective visit to the mall and other retailers.
“Create a thorough list of what you intend to buy before you arrive at the mall,” he said. “If you are fairly certain what you intend to buy or have done advance browsing online, take the time to call stores from home and have particular items put on hold. When you arrive at the store, your items will be at the checkout counter and ready for purchase.”
In order to provide shoppers with an area to take a break, the mall will be providing a Rejuvenation Station where shoppers can relax in comfortable chairs, have a cup of coffee or watch classic holiday programming on a big-screen television. There is also a new Simon iPhone application that gives consumers on-the-go access to retailer holiday promotions and schedules of all the holiday entertainment at the mall. Customers can also join the Simon Mobile
Shopper Club and receive text messages about great savings at the mall.