Mall anticipates increase in Black Friday shoppers

Kentucky Oaks Mall is anticipating this year’s Black Friday to be similar in experiences to Black Fridays prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kentucky Oaks Mall is anticipating more shoppers to be participating in Black Friday this year after many Americans stayed out of stores last year to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Doors at the mall will open at 6 a.m. Friday, and will be open until 9 p.m. Kentucky Oaks Mall is closed on Thanksgiving Day.

Joe Bell, director of corporate communications at Cafaro Company, the parent company of Kentucky Oaks Mall, said the first 200 shoppers in line at the mall’s Black Friday opening will receive “swag bags” filled with coupons. Each swag bag will also have a chocolate bar, and each chocolate bar is associated with a different prize at the mall’s customer service desk. The biggest prize offered by redeeming one of the 200 chocolate bars is a $500 mall-wide gift card. Shoppers must be at least 18 years old to receive a gift card, and swag bags are limited to one per family, according to Kentucky Oaks Mall’s Facebook page.

Many of the mall’s stores will also be offering deals and discounts on top of the mall’s doorbuster deal.

Bell said sales and projected numbers for this holiday season are “very promising.” He thinks people are eager to get out of the house for their shopping experience this year.

“It’s a lot of fun for a lot of people,” Bell said about the Black Friday experience.

Bell said after last year’s “muted” in-person Black Friday, where many people chose to shop primarily online during the pandemic, marketing companies are predicting this Black Friday should be more reminiscent of Black Fridays of 2018 and 2019.

“We anticipate a big boom [in Black Friday shoppers] this year from last year,” Bell said.

One way some retailers have adapted after 2020, Bell said, is providing options to buy an item online, then pick up the item in store. He said this option gives customers an “instant gratification” of knowing the store has an item and being able to buy the item ahead of time, rather than customers going to a store in search of an item they may not find.

Online shopping was “invaluable” to retailers last year that had to close their doors to the public for periods of time, Bell said. The best retailers, he said, incorporated an online and in-person shopping strategy, and came up with deals to entice both types of shoppers.

Follow Hannah Saad on Twitter, @ByHannahSaad or on Facebook at facebook.com/hannahsaadpaducahsun.

Follow Hannah Saad on Twitter, @ByHannahSaad or on Facebook at facebook.com/hannahsaadpaducahsun.

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