Trying to build on the success of midnight openings with door-buster deals on “Black Friday,” area retailers will be following the national trend of opening on Thanksgiving Day.
National chains like Wal-Mart, Kmart, Target and Best Buy plan to open all day on Thanksgiving. According to a survey by the National Retail Federation, about 33 million people nationwide are planning to shop on Thanksgiving Day.
Locally, Fair Oaks Mall will open at 8 p.m. on Thursday and remain open through closing on Friday, the first time it has done so. The decision was driven by interest from the mall’s stores, as well as the “overwhelming response” the mall had to its first ever midnight opening last year, said marketing and sponsorship director Ed Cassidy.
“We had folks lining up as early as 10 p.m. last year,” Cassidy said. So far, news of the earlier opening this year has been well-received, he said.
Fair Oaks is the only area mall that will be completely open at 8 p.m., although anchor department stores at some other malls will be open at that time.
“This does certainly give us an edge in competing with the other centers in the area,” Cassidy said.
Tysons Corner Center will be opening at midnight on Friday for “Midnight Madness,” as it has done for the last five years said marketing director Bob Maurer.
“We anticipate a modest increase in traffic,” he said. “With more and more retailers opening on Thanksgiving Day and for Midnight Madness, overall traffic seems to be more evenly dispersed over the two days.”
While almost all of the stores at Fair Oaks will be open, Cassidy said that services like dry cleaning and shoe repair probably won’t open until closer to normal hours on Friday. In addition, the mall decided not to open its normally popular “Ice Palace” and visits with Santa.
“People are very serious about shopping when they come at these hours,” he said.