Braving long lines in the name of Black Friday savings is an American Thanksgiving tradition on par with turkey and cranberry sauce – and Scottsdale retailers are counting on it.
Approximately 165.3 million consumers are expected to shop over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend from Black Friday to Cyber Monday – up from the 164 million that turned out in 2019, according to the annual forecast from the National Retail Federation, an industry trade association.
The NRF found the demographics of Thanksgiving weekend shoppers are expected to skew younger.
“Among those ages 18-24, 88 percent say they are likely to shop and particularly enjoy the social aspect. Similarly, 84 percent of those ages 25-34 plan to shop. That compares with 69 percent of holiday shoppers overall,” according to the NRF.
A significant portion of the 165 million expected shoppers – 68.7 million – are expected to take advantage of online deals on Cyber Monday.
Still, the majority of overall shoppers – 114.6 million – are expected to turn out on Black Friday and nearly 40 million are considering shopping on Thanksgiving Day, according to the NRF.
Shopping malls and retailers throughout the East Valley are expanding hours and offering significant price cuts to attract those consumers.
Scottsdale Fashion Square is closed Thanksgiving Day, except Macy’s – which is open from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Scottsdale Fashion Square will be open on Black Friday from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., al though Lululemon will open its doors a bit earlier at 4 a.m.
Chandler Fashion Center is open on Thanksgiving Day from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m. The Chandler mall will be open on Black Friday from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Other East Valley malls and shopping centers open today, Thanksgiving, include the Phoenix Premium Outlets in Chandler (6 p.m. to 2 a.m.); Superstition Springs Center (6 p.m. to 12 a.m.); and Arizona Mills (6 p.m. to 11:59 p.m.).
Walmart stores also will open at 6 p.m. today.
Both Superstition Springs Center and Phoenix Premium Outlets will be open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Black Friday with Arizona Mills keeping hours of 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on the busiest shopping day of the year.
Gilbert’s SanTan Village is closed on Thanksgiving Day and will be open 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Black Friday.
Kierland Commons, located in the Scottsdale Airpark area, is also closed on Thanksgiving and will open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Black Friday.
Sales and expanded hours aren’t the only incentives shopping malls are pushing this year as many are also offering additional incentives to turn out, including visits with Santa Claus for the kids and musical performances.
Scottsdale Fashion Square and Chandler Fashion are each hosting HGTV’s interactive Santa HQ exhibits and includes a virtual reality “magic mirror” - turning children into elves and the opportunity to take photos with Santa Claus.
The Santa HQs at both malls are closed on Thanksgiving Day and will be open on Black Friday.
SanTan Village in Gilbert will kick off its Sounds of the Season program on Black Friday. The program, which runs Fridays and Saturdays through Dec. 21, features live music from a variety of performers.
SanTan Village will host performances by Jake Lucas and Sandy Hathaway on Black Friday.
Shopping malls are not the only retailers seeking to attract Black Friday shoppers.
East Valley retailers, small businesses and hotels are also offering deals.
Drybar, a salon chain with locations in Scottsdale and Gilbert, is offering $10 off blowout services on Black Friday along with a $10 digital bounce-back card for blowouts in January.
Drybar is also offering 20 percent off products, tools and kits through Dec. 1.
Scottsdale small business Dream Curls Salon is offering 50 percent off hair treatments starting on Black Friday. The offer ends Dec. 31.
Amerisleep, a mattress chain with locations in Scottsdale and Gilbert, is offering several Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, including $200 off mattresses and two free memory foam pillows, $50 off mattress foundations, 25 percent off most accessories, and up to $1,500 off adjustable bed packages.
Scottsdale-based HQ98, an online business that sells two-way radios, is running a Cyber Monday Deal.
Customers can take 10 percent off all orders at HQ98.com from Dec. 2 through Wednesday, Dec. 4 using the coupon code CYBER10.
Chandler-based State Forty Eight creates Arizona-themed apparel and is running a 20 percent off sale in its Chandler and Phoenix stores and on its website from Black Friday through Cyber Monday.
Area restaurants and hotels are also getting in on Black Friday, too.
On Black Friday and Cyber Monday, patrons of The Vig restaurant will receive a $30 bounce-back card with the purchase of a $100 gift card.
The bounce-back card is valid at all Valley Vig locations, including restaurants in Scottsdale and the nearby Arcadia neighborhood in Phoenix.
Outside of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Vig customers can receive a $20 bounce-back card with the purchase of a $100 gift card until Dec. 31.
Scottsdale’s Roaring Fork is also offering a $20 bounce-back card with the purchase of a $100 gift card until Dec. 31.
Scottsdale’s Hotel Valley Ho is running specials from Black Friday through Cyber Monday, including giving guests a third consecutive night free when they book a two-night stay for December 2019.
Hotel Valley Ho is also offering a $20 hotel gift card for every $100 in hotel gift cards purchased by customers.
The new Marriott Phoenix Chandler near downtown Chandler will give free breakfast for up to two adults and children 12 and under for stays through January 5.
Safety precautions urged
While rushing to take advantage of Black Friday sales, shoppers should keep safety at top of mind.
On average, more thefts occur on Black Friday than any other day of the year, according to claims data from the Travelers insurance company.
Representatives from Chandler Fashion Center offered some tips for shoppers to stay safe and avoid theft.
Those tips included keeping gifts and packages locked in the trunk of your vehicle, out of sight and not leaving electronics, cell phones or anything of value visible in vehicles – advice echoed yearly by Scottsdale Police Department.
Shoppers should also walk in groups or can call security at the mall for an escort to their car or walk in groups.
Shoppers should have their keys in hand before leaving the mall. The mall representatives also suggested shoppers check their windows before getting in their car to make sure no one is inside.
A Scottsdale Police spokesman said that shoppers should avoid shopping alone at night and always be aware of their surroundings.
Shoppers should also avoid texting while walking to their cars, he said.
Scottsdale Police Department typically has increased presence at high-traffic areas on Black Friday, such as Scottsdale Fashion Square.
Chandler Police suggested that shoppers only park in lighted areas.