Quantcast


Last updated: November 27. 2013 4:48PM - 546 Views
STACY KESS skess@civitasmedia.com



Story Tools:

Font Size:

Social Media:

Black Friday started last night in the Polaris area.


Though many stores have traditionally opened in the early hours of the morning on Friday – as did many today – Polaris Fashion Place general manager Michael Minns said when the mall gave its stores the option to open on Thanksgiving, roughly a third of the stores chose to let Black Friday shoppers through the doors at 8 p.m. Thursday.


“People, you know, vote with their dollars,” he said. “Last year, Sears was the only store open on Thanksgiving, and the line was around the block.”


He said the trend has been to open earlier and earlier, and moving to Thanksgiving night is a good move for many stores.


“Three years ago, it was a surprise for people (when stores opened) up at 4 o’clock in the morning on Black Friday,” Minns said. “Last year, we had stores open up at midnight.”


He said the crowd that showed up for last year’s midnight store openings was younger, whereas families and parents had often waited in line with others for the early morning sales.


“Because we’re opening up on Thanksgiving in the evening, I think we’ll see a broader mix of customers,” he said “We expect to be busy.”


In fact, Minns’ projection that the retail center will be busy is in line with the holiday forecast released by the University of Cincinnati Economics Center through Focus on Ohio’s Future, the public research arm of the Ohio Council of Retail Merchants.


The Economics Center projects a 3.5 percent increase in Ohio retail spending for November and December over last year – just under the national projection of a 3.9 percent increase. In the Columbus Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Delaware County and represents the largest share of retail spending in Ohio, the Economics center projects an increase in holiday spending of 4.4 percent.


That equates to about $2.972 billion or 19 percent of the state’s total holiday season sales, according to the report.


In Delaware County, spending at Polaris Fashion Place and the surrounding businesses such as Target, Cabela’s and Toys”R”Us translates into tax revenue for the county.


“I am pleased to have people shopping at Polaris and the rest of Delaware County so sales tax dollars benefit us, which makes Delaware County the best place to live, work, play and educate our children,” said Delaware County Commissioner Ken O’Brien.


In 2011, the county collected $41.1 million in tax revenue, a huge chunk of which comes from Polaris and the holiday shopping season.


For the Polaris area’s newcomer Cabela’s, retail projections for the area make for a promising first holiday season in Central Ohio.


Although the store opened at 5 a.m. today – a decision made by the business to respect the Thanksgiving holiday of its employees – rather than join its neighbors in starting sales on Thanksgiving night, Columbus Store retail marketing manager Derrek Shively said he expected a big crowd to show up based on sales at other Cabela’s stores in previous holiday seasons.


“This is our first Black Friday in this market,” Shively said. “In other states, it’s been tremendous turnout.”


He said since opening in March, the Columbus store, located just off I-71 1650 Gemini Place, has had more than a million customers.


For Black Friday enticement, the store planned $8,700 of giveaways, including a rifle, a Go-Pro Camera unit and gift cards ranging in amount from $5 to $100. For those who showed up early and lined up outside before the doors opened, Shively and his team were ready with coffee.


“You know, our customers are such loyal and solid customer base to us, that we like to give back as much as we can with the shopping experience,” Shively said. “We want to give them what they expect, even when they’re standing outside.”


On the other side of the mall on Polaris Parkway, Target Greatland, 1485 Polaris Pkwy, opened at 8 p.m. Thanksgiving.


The store expected big crowds and chose to add crowd control measures.


“It’s really really busy, that’s why we always make sure we have line control and the police here for safety,” said Dashanda Lawson, a spokesperson for the Polaris store. She said the store prepared the same way in 2012.


“It’ll be crowded,” she said. “We’re in the top 15 in sales for the whole corporation at this site.”


Target had no door prizes or special giveaways this year, but Lawson said the draw will still be there, especially for the sales on Apple products and televisions.


“It’s so hard in a big volume store because everyone just wants to get in,” she said.


Just down the road at Toys”R”Us on 1400 Gemini Place, the doors opened at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving.


Adrienne O’Hara, a corporate spokesperson for Toys”R”Us, said the early opening was in response to the additional crowds that showed up for the 8 p.m. opening last year.


“The reason we decided to open up earlier this year was because we saw hundreds of people,” she said, adding Toys”R”Us stores were offering 300 door busters over the weekend.


The Gazette requested an interview with the Gemini Place Toys”R”Us store manager Wednesday morning, but Toys”R”Us said the company only provides such interviews for broadcast media.


Comments
comments powered by Disqus



Featured Businesses


Poll



Info Minute



Gas Prices

Lima Gas Prices provided by GasBuddy.com