Area retailers, Westfarms mall, big box stores ready to hand out deals on Black Friday to expected big crowds

Published on Thursday, 25 November 2021 10:53
Written by Ciara Hooks and Erica Drzewiecki

STAFF

There is promised to be deals, deals and more deals this Black Friday and retailers are prepared for shoppers.

The holiday shopping season at Westfarms Mall is ready to kick off this Friday.

“The 2021 holiday shopping frenzy is off to a great start at Westfarms as many shoppers started earlier than ever giving themselves a head start to the holiday shopping season,” Westfarms spokesperson Amanda Sirica said.

Sirica said they are optimistic about consumer shopping this year and expect their merchants will have a “robust season.”

The mall will be opening at 7 a.m. Friday, and will stay open until 9 p.m. Departments store hours will vary. JC Penney will open at 5 a.m. and close at 10 p.m.; Nordstrom will be open from 10 a.m. and close at 9 p.m.; and Macy's will be open at 6 a.m. and close at midnight.

“Westfarms is optimistic about the holiday season, which ceremonially kicks off on Black Friday marking 28 shopping days until Christmas,” Sirica said. “The traditional one-day shopping event has definitely morphed into the Black Friday season at Westfarms. We saw Black Friday-type sales begin earlier than ever and they are expected to stretch out into the early part of December. This is a fantastic time of year for consumers to shop the savings.”

In regards to shopping online versus in-person, Sirica said today's consumers aren’t sticking to one or the other.

“Consumers like to browse online, but buy in the physical space where the brand comes to life,” she said. “We often find if a brand has a brick-and-mortar presence and a store in the same market, sales are higher.”

Westfarms has already opened Santa’s Flight Academy, a popular attraction in the center of the mall that draws young families throughout the season. Reservations are encouraged for this attraction and can be made at shopwestfarms.com.

Brad Harris, co-owner of Cut From a Different Cloth in New Britain, is ready for Black Friday.

“We expect a lot of people to do physical shopping and online due to the fact that we have a big sale,” Harris said. “We also have our website launching on the first of December to help our customers’ shopping process. I believe a lot of people are coming in early now to shop because it gets dark so quick and we are ready for Black Friday. It’s time to spoil the ones you appreciate and love which is great.”

Amato’s Toy & Hobby in New Britain is ready for the big shopping day as well.

“We started a sale this week and it runs through Sunday, so we have a good percentage of the store on sale,” owner Steve Amato said. “I expect Friday will be the busiest because of tradition.

Amato expects customers will shop in person more than a year ago.

“It’s kind of like you can sit home and watch the football game or you can go to the football game, either way you see the game, but there’s something about being there,” Amato said. “From talking to people and a few of the fairs and shows that have happened, they’ve been really busy. People want to get back out there. So I think that’s in our favor this year.”

Maciah Clark, co-owner of Unknown Clothing in New Britain, is also running a sale on Black Friday but isn’t sure what to expect as far as the number of shoppers.

“I just feel like everything is going so fast,” Clark said. “They started Black Friday for all the big box stores like two weeks ago so there’s not a real demand. So I really don’t know what people are going to do. I think people like to shop in person – it was kind of a thing back in the day, you went out, found the best deals you could, and got back by 6 a.m.”

There will be plenty of deals available at local WalMart’s.

“We’ve been working hard to plan another successful shopping experience alongside our always low prices for our customers, and there’s a lot to look forward to,” Director of Walmart Press Office Charles Crowson said. “This year, Walmart is making it even easier and more convenient for customers to do their holiday shopping with more gifts than ever available via pickup and delivery, including hundreds more toys and all items across our ‘Black Friday Deals for Days’ events.”

According to Crowson, Walmart will be extending its store delivery hours, adding additional delivery windows for customers and adding more items to the list of what can be delivered.

“Also new, paying Walmart+ members will receive early access to online Black Friday events – an opportunity to shop all the same hot deals four hours earlier than the scheduled start times for all three events,” Crowson said.

Target is also offering a wide range of ways to shop its deals this year.

“In addition to being available in-store and at target.com, Target will make even more Black Friday deals than last year available via Target’s same-day services, including Drive Up and Order Pickup, helping guests get the best deals on their terms, no membership required,” Target said in a release.

Target also said it got a jump on its deals this year as well.

“We began offering holiday deals in October for those looking to shop early and we’re continuing to deliver big savings all season long, including Black Friday week,” said Christina Hennington, executive vice president and chief growth officer, Target. “Whether shopping for deals or last-minute Thanksgiving needs, our team is ready to deliver incredible savings. And by making even more of our Black Friday deals available via our same-day services, we’re making it easier than ever for guests to shop everything on their terms.”

Good Cause Gifts in Berlin, a specialty boutique that employs individuals with disabilities, is also ready for Black Friday, but looks forward to Shop Small Saturday more.

“Black Friday is not really a big day for us, but Shop Small Saturday is a huge day for us,” said Carly Harris, operations specialist at Futures, Inc., the non-profit organization that founded Good Cause Gifts.

Shop Small Saturday is Nov. 27 and Good Cause Gifts will be offering customers 20% off purchases that are $50 or more that day.

“It’s a fun day to support local and small businesses,” Harris said.



Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol on Thursday, 25 November 2021 10:53. Updated: Thursday, 25 November 2021 10:55.