By Michael Hill
New Jersey’s biggest mall will open thanksgiving at six for the first time. The world’s biggest retailer black Friday will run five days.
“I think we’re in a new normal,” said Morgan Stanley Senior Vice President Lori Sackler.
Sackler is a senior vice president at Morgan Stanley and the author of “The M Word: The Money Talk Every Family Needs To Have About Wealth and Their Financial Future.”
Sackler says retail’s competing with e-tail.
Garden State Plaza knows it. It says its 300 stores have 20-million shoppers a year — more than Disneyworld. So it’s opening from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Thanksgiving night offering dessert and coffee and a chance to win a $1,000 shopping spree.
“It’s a celebration, it’s a family day. Extend the family day in to the evening and come out and get some holiday shopping done,” said Westfield Garden State Plaza Mall marketing director Lisa Herrmann.
Shawn Simpson says you can count him among the Thanksgiving shoppers.
“Everybody’s looking for a way to save some money and around Thanksgiving time may be you get the best deals,” he said.
But other shoppers frown on the idea of the mall opening Thanksgiving night.
“I really like the sanctity of Thanksgiving. I think there’s plenty of time for shopping,” said Melissa Boughton.
“I think it’s great for people who work full time and get out to shop but for me, not coming,” said Robin Cohen.
“I think it’s good for the economy because the economy going to boost but the shopping, but thanksgiving it’s about the family,” said Adriana Benko.
Walmart says you don’t have to lose any sleep for black Friday because it’s spreading it out over five days.
Its chief merchandising officer says, “Our customers want to shop when they want to shop so we’re trying to expand the times and product availability with them.”
“People are able to access their computers at any time and the ability for discounters to get out there and increase their sales in the marketplace with better discounts and layaway discounts and deeper discounts is driving what’s going on here,” said Sackler.
Sackler says holiday shopping to top last year’s by 4.1 percent and she says there’s a reason for that.
“Part of this driving by rising housing prices, increasing sales, good jobs numbers, more job opportunity. So we expect this to be a pretty decent holiday season,” Sackler said.
Sackler says the deeper discounts and the earlier openings will produce a win-win for retailers, e-tailers and shoppers.