MASSENA - While JC Penney, Bon Ton and Sears will all be opening at 8 p.m. Thanksgiving night, St. Lawrence Centre will be opening the doors to the rest of the mall at midnight.
Its the type of thing thats been going on for years, said St. Lawrence Centre Marketing Manager Ronald J. Patnode. Every year the major stores have been opening up earlier and malls, both to the north and south of us, have been opening earlier too. If shoppers want us to be open at midnight, we want to be open for them.
Mr. Patnode said this is the first year for a mall-wide midnight opening, but after speaking with tenants who have been open earlier he said hes looking forward to another busy Black Friday.
There seems to be a demand for it, he said.
Black Friday at St. Lawrence Centre also means thousands of dollars in prize giveaways.
This year the mall is giving away a 50 LED HDTV, a 10.1, 16GB Samsung Galaxy Tablet, Craftsman 26 three-piece tool chest, rRed Kitchen Aid artisan stand Mmixer and a $300 St. Lawrence Centre Gift Card.
We have for years had giveaways, Mr. Patnode said, adding that the earlier mall opening forced them to think long and hard about what time they wanted to award their prizes, ultimately deciding to still award prizes at 8 a.m.
This year though, you have two ways to win, he said, explaining that as always the first 250 shoppers through the malls main entrance will receive a drawing ticket, but this year for the first time there will also be a second way to earn a ticket.
Shoppers with $200 or more in mall receipts can also receive a ticket by bringing their receipts to the Customer Service Center, he said. Basically there are two ways to win.
In order to be eligible for a prize, Mr. Patnode said shoppers must be 16 or older. The drawing will be held in front of Santas living room in center court.
When asked why Black Friday is special, Mr. Patnode said its not only a good day for retailers, but also a good day for the malls customers.
History shows us that Black Friday is the official start of the holiday shopping season. Hopefully, it will put all of the retailers into the black, he said. And its also good for the shoppers, because retailers are putting deals out there that typically wouldnt do until later in the season.