This is the year that Black Friday changes and has created the most controversial start to the holiday shopping season. Most major department stores will be open on Thanksgiving Day.
Town Center at Cobb was closed for the last time on Thanksgiving Day last year when it opened at midnight. But like most malls around the country, this year they will open on Thanksgiving Day for an estimated 41 hours of non-stop shopping. Macy’s and JC Penney have announced that they for the first time, they will be open on Thanksgiving Day. While Black Friday has become a holiday tradition for many, the switch to Thanksgiving Day has created an online controversy and commentary for many articles.
The one positive for some, and negative for others, is that this will be the shortest holiday shopping season since 2002 – shorter than last year’s by six days. Which in “retailese” will cost retailers $1.5 billion in online sales alone according to a recent study by Adobe, and the estimates are still out on brick and mortar sales.
So the malls and large chains will offer extended hours with lots of promotions. But in our corner of Dallas and Acworth, we have several local retailers that will continue their regular hours while offering unique items to delight shoppers and gift recipients. And while you plan your shopping expeditions, please don’t forget them or the basic tips below:
Some basic tips from the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC):
- Do not buy more than you can carry. Plan ahead by taking a friend with you or ask a store employee to help you carry your packages to the car.
- Shop online with companies you know and trust. Check a company’s background if you are not familiar with it. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
- Save all receipts. Print and save all confirmations from your online purchases. Start a file folder to keep all receipts together and to help you verify credit card or bank statements as they come in.
- Consider alternate options to pay for your merchandise, such as onetime or multiuse disposable credit cards or money orders, at online stores and auction sites.
- Wait until asked before taking out your credit card or checkbook. An enterprising thief would love to shoulder surf to get your account information.
- Deter pickpockets. Carry your purse close to your body or your wallet inside a coat or front trouser pocket.
- Have your keys in hand when approaching your vehicle. Check the back seat and around the car before getting in.
- Do not leave packages visible in your car windows. Lock them in the trunk or, if possible, take them directly home.
- Tell a security guard or store employee if you see an unattended bag or package. The same applies if you are using mass transit.
- If you are shopping with children, make a plan in case you get separated. Select a central meeting place and make sure they know they can ask mall personnel or store security employees if they need help.