Shop­ping chances abound on Thanks­giv­ing

Many malls and depart­ment stores in the area plan to kick off Christ­mas shop­ping sea­son on Thurs­day night

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Brian McCul­lough bm­c­cul­lough@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @wc­dai­ly­lo­cal on Twit­ter

Many malls are set to start the sea­son Thurs­day be­fore the Tur­key Day plates have been cleared away.

There will be plenty of op­tions again this year for area res­i­dents who sim­ply can’t wait un­til af­ter Thanks­giv­ing to get on with their hol­i­day shop­ping and who en­joy get­ting out of the house af­ter a big meal.

Many area malls – or large stores in those malls – are set to start the sea­son Thurs­day be­fore many of the Tur­key Day plates have been cleared away.

Within the re­gion, malls op­er­ated by Si­mon Prop­er­ties – King of Prus­sia, Le­high Val­ley, Mont­gomery, Ox­ford Val­ley and Quaker Bridge Malls – will be open from 6 p.m. on Thanks­giv­ing through 1 a.m. on Fri­day. The malls will re­open at 6 a.m. on Black Fri­day and will close at 10 p.m.

Philadel­phia Pre­mium Out­lets will be open from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Thanks­giv­ing.

Many of the area PREIT malls also will be ac­tive with shop­pers Thurs­day night.

Open Thanks­giv­ing from 6 p.m. to mid­night are Cherry Hill, Wil­low Grove Park and Spring­field malls.

At the Ex­ton Square Mall, Macy’s will be open from 5 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Thanks­giv­ing while Boscov’s has hours of 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Many of Ex­ton’s smaller re­tail­ers will be open some­time be­tween the hours of 6 p.m. and mid­night on Thanks­giv­ing, mall man­age­ment said.

Closed on Thanks­giv­ing are PREIT malls Gallery II, Moorestown Mall and Ply­mouth Meet­ing Mall.

All PREIT malls will open at

“Hav­ing closely ob­served traf­fic pat­terns and re­tailer de­mand over the past sev­eral years, we have care­fully se­lected some of our prop­er­ties to open on Thanks­giv­ing.” – PREIT state­ment

6 a.m. on Black Fri­day.

In an email, PREIT ex­plained why some of its malls will open on Thanks­giv­ing while oth­ers will wait un­til Black Fri­day morn­ing.

“Hav­ing closely ob­served traf­fic pat­terns and re­tailer de­mand over the past sev­eral years, we have care­fully se­lected some of our prop­er­ties to open on Thanks­giv­ing,” the com­pany said. “The de­ci­sion to close cer­tain prop­er­ties un­til Black Fri­day morn­ing re­flects our at­tempt to bal­ance the mall and re­tail associates’ time with their fam­i­lies with shop­per de­mand and our re­tail part­ners’ suc­cess.”

At Coven­try Mall near Pottstown, man­aged by Pen­n­mark at Coven­try Man­age­ment Co., Boscov’s, Kohl’s and Dick’s will all open at 6 p.m. on Thanks­giv­ing night. Coven­try will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Black Fri­day.

The Christ­mas shop­ping

sea­son has al­ways been cru­cial to brick-and-mor­tar re­tail­ers. The term Black Fri­day is of­ten used to de­scribe the day when re­tail­ers would go from losses to prof­its for the year, or from red ink to black ink.

The late-year shop­ping sea­son has taken on new im­por­tance for stores in re­cent years as online shop­ping has in­creased in pop­u­lar­ity. Ex­pec­ta­tions are mixed for this year’s shop­ping sea­son, how­ever.

Ac­cord­ing to its an­nual sur­vey of con­sumer hol­i­day spend­ing in the Greater Philadel­phia area, in­ter­na­tional con­sult­ing com­pany Deloitte found:

• Philadel­phia area con­sumers ex­pect to de­crease their to­tal hol­i­day spend­ing by 19 per­cent. The big­gest de­cline in spend­ing is in non-gifts, which is down 23 per­cent. The trend is con­sis­tent with na­tional re­sults.

• When com­pared to na­tional re­sponses, Greater Philadel­phia re­spon­dents ex­pect to spend slightly more than the na­tional con­sumer – $1,010 com­pared to $998.

• The in­ter­net is Greater Philadel­phia re­spon­dents’ No. 1 choice for gift buy­ing this year. This is a con­tin­ued trend, only slightly down from 2015. Greater Philadel­phia re­spon­dents in­di­cated that crowds con­tinue to be the top rea­son for not shop­ping in stores, along with long lines and slow check­out.

• De­spite de­cline in foot traf­fic, 44 per­cent (47 per­cent na­tion­ally) of the amount spent of Christ­mas shop­ping is still ex­pected to hap­pen at the store, ac­cord­ing to the sur­veyed Greater Philadel­phia con­sumers.

• Con­sumers sur­veyed said they will shop lo­cal stores pri­mar­ily to sup­port the lo­cal econ­omy or find one-of-a-kind gifts.

• Smart­phone own­er­ship is now at 84 per­cent among those sur­veyed in Greater Philadel­phia, com­pared to 83 per­cent na­tion­ally (up 12 per­cent from two years ago). Tablet own­er­ship is also up sig­nif­i­cantly from 2014. Those de­vices will as­sist in online hol­i­day shop­ping.

KeyBank also did a Hol­i­day

Spend­ing Sur­vey that showed more than 50 per­cent of re­spon­dents don’t feel con­fi­dent about their fi­nan­cial fit­ness this hol­i­day sea­son. Still, 51 per­cent of re­spon­dents in that sur­vey said they will spend more in 2016 than in 2015. Forty­nine per­cent of re­spon­dents plan to spend equal to or less than 2015.

The re­sults are based on a sur­vey con­ducted at King of Prus­sia Mall be­tween Nov. 4 and Nov. 13. Nearly 1,000 peo­ple par­tic­i­pated.

“When peo­ple ex­pe­ri­ence fi­nan­cial anx­i­ety around the hol­i­days, it’s of­ten be­cause they don’t have a spend­ing plan,” said Robert Kane, president, East­ern Penn­syl­va­nia Mar­ket of Al­bany, N.Y.-based KeyBank. “Our goal with this sur­vey is to get peo­ple think­ing about their hol­i­day bud­get ear­lier than usual so they can make bet­ter de­ci­sions and feel less stress.”

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS FILE PHOTO — AN­DREW A. NELLES

Shop­pers ride es­ca­la­tors in this file photo. Re­tail­ers are hop­ing area res­i­dents fill up their stores this hol­i­day sea­son as well.

FILE PHOTO BY RYAN BLACKWELL — PUB­LIC OPIN­ION

Area re­tail­ers hope shop­pers jam their stores this hol­i­day sea­son.

DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA FILE PHOTO

Mall op­er­a­tors are hop­ing for filled park­ing lots again this year.

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