By Nikki Garrett Metzger
(Victorville) – Retailers raised the bar this year on the traditional day-after-Thanksgiving shopping extravaganza as many opened their doors at the stroke of midnightFriday morning. The Mall of Victor Valley joined the fray by opening its doors before midnight to High Desert shoppers.
Many of the stores and kiosks were open and the shoppers were out in force. Lines stretched through the doors out onto the walkway at Foot Locker, Tilly’s and Forever 21. Several veteran Black Friday shoppers were first in line when the doors opened at Bath and Body Works waiting to pick up the “buy 3, get 3 free” gift sets.
Kade, an employee at American Eagle Outfitters was asked about the Black Friday rush. He responded, “I love it, it’s CRAZY. There’s so much hype right now, it’s awesome.”
Lisa was in the parking lot preparing to stand in line at JCPenney, which opened at 4am. “I’m going there to get Christmas presents. We didn’t even realize the mall was open, and when we pulled up we wondered where everyone was. They were inside. That’s a good thing!”
Kim was shopping with her son and his friend for t-shirts at Tilly’s. “We’re here for the sales.”
Although the numbers won’t be in until much later, overall mall retailers were very happy with the early sales they received and the amount of traffic they saw Friday morning according to Vito Bello, Marketing Director at the Mall of Victor Valley.
“High Desert residents really seemed to react well and I think they had a really good time coming out,” said Bello. “We had lines at least 100 people thick at each entrance at the time we opened our doors at 11pm. We didn’t want guests waiting outside in the cold, so we opened up a little bit early, got the DJ going a little bit early, and let people line up in front of their favorite stores. Starbucks was ready to go, and we had a good time.”
An unadvertised gift that was given to the first 400 people through the doors was a shopping tote that said, “I survived Midnight Madness”. Bello explained, “The totes were full of coupons and special offers for our guests, along with information on who had some of the best deals of the day. That way people, while they were waiting, could plan out their mall shopping trip.”
Bello said that the mall was really busy from midnight to around 4 in the morning, that’s when retailers reported that they saw some of the best continual high dollar sales, and then it slowed down through the early morning. Traffic picked up again around 1pm and was busy through most of the afternoon.
“People overall were very positive,” said Bello. “Just in talking to people as they were going through, we did kind of land on what we expected would be some of the top gifts.”
The Mall of Victor Valley will be extending their hours for the shopping season. Visit their website www.themallofvictorvalley.com for the holiday hours, what’s going on at the mall and what some of the hottest deals are going to be for the rest of the season.