Retailers prepare for Black Friday rushWritten by Alissa Romstadt | | email@example.com
The day after Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the holiday shopping rush for many area shoppers.
“Usually, the season starts in November and is busy from here on out,” said Amy Foreman, owner of Red Envy Boutique, 3145 W Central Ave.
This year, she will offer customers three different discounts on each day of the weekend following Thanksgiving. All outerwear and sweaters will be 20 percent off Nov. 27, dresses and denims will be 20 percent off Nov. 28 and clothing items will be buy one at regular price, get one half off Nov. 29.
“I hope it attracts people to come in more than one day,” she said.
J.P. Rady of Curb’s Candle Co. is anticipating a good holiday season, he said. While sales didn’t pick up in October as they usually do, things have started to pick up recently.
After 10 years in the business, he said the season is off to a late start, but it would take a lot more to make him nervous.
“It’s different every year,” he said. “We’re happy. We’re doing well.”
Rady said he relies on word-of-mouth advertising and gets a lot of repeat business.
The store sells locally made candles, soap, art and accessories and also does custom work.
Levis Commons is not typically a Black Friday-type mall, said marketing director Casey Pogan.
“For the most part, we see an increase after lunch after people have already hit the Best Buys,” she said. “[They] stop here for lunch and leisure shopping.”
While some stores, including Gymboree, Books-A-Million and Jos A. Bank, will offer door busters and special hours, Levis Commons itself is not. The mall is directing its holiday cheer efforts toward its tree lighting ceremony Nov. 28. Santa is scheduled to arrive at his Levis Commons workshop at 6 p.m., led by Andrew Z. Entertainment for the evening will be provided by Julie’s Dance Studio, Woodland Jr. Jazzers and Katie Monroe and hosted by 101.5’s Rick and Mary Beth and lead up to the lighting of the tree at 8 p.m.
Business at the mall is in line with expectations, Pogan said. Many stores are faring better locally than nationally.
“Traffic is positive. Shoppers are here,” she said. “That speaks to events and the atmosphere and things we do to get people to come to Levis Commons.”
The stores at the Westfield Franklin Park Shopping Center will be open early on Black Friday, said marketing director Sara Young.
Old Navy will be open noon to 7 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. On Nov. 27, Old Navy and Ulta will open at 3 a.m. with other stores opening their doors at 5 a.m. and the mall at 6 a.m.
The mall will have special holiday hours through December. Star 105.5 will be broadcasting live from the mall on Black Friday, promoting a toy-athon with the Salvation Army, Young said.
The mall will offer events and incentives all month long, including its 12 days of shopping special promotions.
On Black Friday, Westfield is giving away 12 $5,000 shopping sprees nationally, she said. Shoppers can register at the concierge’s desk.
The Westfield Franklin Park tree-lighting ceremony will take place Nov. 29, with a Make-A-Wish child lighting the trees on Sylvania Avenue.
“We’re looking optimistic for the holiday season,” Young said. “Customer traffic is continuing to build and our retailers are working hard to make the season a success.”