Natalie M. Watson, marketing manager for South Towne Mall (10450 S. State in Sandy), is donning pajamas for the mall’s first Black Friday midnight opening on Nov. 23.
Why the foreboding name: Black Friday? It’s known as the major holiday shopping day of the season. Aside from the fact that it’s dark outside when people start shopping, the origin comes from the shift to profitability in retail for the year. Black Friday is when retailers go from being unprofitable “in the red” to being profitable “in the black.”
What is behind the trend of malls opening at midnight? Based on the enthusiasm and attendance of Black Friday midnight openings, it is clear there are consumers out there who like the idea.
Do you fear shoppers will get the wrong message … that malls are just greedy, trying to compete with Wal-Mart and Best Buy? It is a competitive world out there. The mall provides a different shopping experience and a different mix of retailers that don’t really compete with Wal-Mart and Best Buy. Most shoppers will coordinate their schedule to shop both places.
Doesn’t opening at midnight mean retailers have to work on Thanksgiving? Most retailers will be here at 11 p.m. to set up and open their stores unless they choose to come earlier.
Do you think store employees are happy about working all night? Retailers are enthusiastic about working … they plan on having a fun time. Based on a Black Friday survey we conducted with our retailers, the results were favorable for opening at midnight.
You are promising live music. Who’s performing, and will you allow dancing after 1 a.m.? A mix of music...holiday, jazzy, upbeat and mellow. Artists include Peter Breinholt, David Tolk, Abe Kaelin and Nancy Hanson. Dancing is fine if they have the time … mosh pits, crowd surfing and stage diving is discouraged.
What about pajamas, what is acceptable? I usually wear a big T-shirt to bed. We trust that people will use good judgment. You may be a bit chilly in your big T-shirt, but if that works for you … then great!
What is the Pajama Lounge? The first 200 people who shop South Towne Center at midnight in their pajamas will get a pass to the exclusive Pajama Lounge where a catered gourmet breakfast buffet awaits along with prizes, holiday-movie screening on a big screen and a chance to win a round trip to Disneyland.
Seriously, don’t people have to be a little crazy to start shopping at midnight? Of course not! What else do people have to do … sleeping is overrated. Christmas shopping in your PJs is an opportunity of a lifetime. cw