Buffalo (WIVB) – The Walden Galleria Mall is opening to shoppers at 6 P.M. on Thanksgiving. It’s a new decision that’s sparked a lot of controversy. Other malls in the area are following suit, opening earlier this year than ever. Most shoppers aren’t happy about it.
“It’s more of a family holiday and everyone is getting caught up on the shopping and sales, there’ll always be sales after the holidays and throughout,” says Marie Simon.
What was once a specialty day for sales and shopping has now intruded on a sacred holiday. Alana Thompson says it’s not a good trend.
“It’s gotten worse and worse and worse every year.
Black Friday has now become “Grey Thursday”. Like last year shopping malls and the stores inside are pushing the limit.
The Walden Galleria mall is forcing its stores to open, threatening a fine if they don’t. Officials at other malls in the area say they’re leaving it up to retailers to decide. Doors at Niagara Falls Fashion Outlets open at 8 P.M. on Thanksgiving but some stores inside don’t open until 10 P.M. At McKinley Mall, Old Navy opens at 4 P.M. the rest of the mall opens at 6 P.M. At the Boulevard Mall, Macy’s, J.C. Penny and Sears open at 6 P.M. while other stores opening at 12 A.M.. Meghan Hinton, a marketing manager at Eastern Hills, says the mall will open at 6 P.M. on Thanksgiving Day because of pressure from national chains.
“Our national stores when they decide to open earlier and earlier it’s from a competitive standpoint,” says Hinton. “Some of our local stores decide to do the same.”
Despite the sales to entice shoppers to stores on Thanksgiving, some people like Jerrica Davis don’t care.
“I’ll be with my family on Thanksgiving.” says Davis. “I’m sure my family won’t be out but if that’s what other people want to do more power to them.”
Eastern hills Mall says it plans to give any of their employees working on thanksgiving free Tim Horton’s coffee as a small perk. Most of the people I talked to thought it were crazy to head out to shop that early on Thanksgiving. They’d rather be home for the holiday and shop on Small Business Saturday or Cyber Monday.