By Matt Wiley
Love it or hate it, “Black Friday” is a fairly new American tradition that reminds us all that Christmas is right around the corner. There are always special Day-After-Thanksgiving deals to be had, but also sacrifices to be made, in order to walk out the door with that special big-ticket item for that killer price.
The dust from Friday, November 23, has since settled at the Shops at Wiregrass mall on S.R. 56, but one thing is certain: this year has been the mall’s biggest so far for Black Friday.
Among the mall’s stores, Jos. A. Bank Clothiers and White House/ Black Market even took part in the controversial trend of opening on Thanksgiving night, while 13 other Wiregrass stores — including Bath & Body Works, Charlotte Russe, Hollister, Macy’s and Victoria’s Secret — opened just a few hours later, at midnight, many to lines already wrapped around the buildings.
“Black Friday traffic was up 45 percent from last year,” says Debbie Detweiler, director of marketing for the Shops. “Overall, Black Friday weekend traffic was up 16 percent.”
Detweiler says that the biggest difference between this year’s biggest shopping day and years past is that shopping remained steady during Black Friday weekend this year, whereas, in past years, there were definite lulls in the traffic.
“I think shoppers really did their homework this year,” Detweiler says, referring to visitors to the Shops at Wiregrass’ website. “Shoppers were able to check out deals at all of the stores that would be open to figure out which ones they wanted to be in line for first.”
Detweiler adds that since the Shops is an outside shopping center, the mall was able to easily accommodate the stores that chose to open on Thanksgiving and their shoppers. All of the restrooms were open and the lights throughout the mall were on for early shoppers. Maps were even printed out to let customers know which stores would be open at what time(s).
“It’s been a great holiday season so far,” says Detweiler. “If Black Friday and the past few weeks have been any indication, it’s going to be a huge year for our retailers’ holiday sales.”
For more information about what’s happening at the Shops at Wiregrass mall this holiday season, including store hours and all of the great events at the mall, please visit TheShopsAtWiregrass.com.