By Julia Catalano
The Smith Haven Mall is a close and convenient shopping destination for many Ammerman Campus students. At this mall, many retailers have been preparing for what is known as the biggest shopping day of the year. November 23, also known as “Black Friday” is traditionally the start of shopping for the holiday season.
On this day, most major retailers open extremely early, often at 4 a.m., or earlier, and offer promotional sales to kick off the shopping season. Black Friday is not actually a holiday, but some non-retail employers give their employees the day off, increasing the number of potential shoppers. It has routinely been the busiest day at shopping malls, outlets, and other big retailers.
For some stores, the preparation for Black Friday begins November 24, the year before. Black Friday is what they look forward to and prepare for all year round. This day of the year is so important for some companies because it is the day the store makes the most money and gathers the most people in the entire year.
“Black Friday is crazy here at Victoria’s Secret. We open at 11 p.m. on Thanksgiving night and we have over 150 employees on staff. The line starts outside the store and customers look like they’re about to run a marathon the way they stand outside the gates. Our company provides us with six hundred dollars to fund the store with food, refreshments, and whatever else it is we need for our associates to stay safe and alert throughout the night and day. We make a day plan to ensure everything will run as smoothly as possible. Typically, our store brings in more than double our average Saturday profit (Saturday is the busiest day of the week) and this year we hope to make even more. We prepare our associates for this day all year round with special training and discussion of how to sufficiently help customers while maintaining a clean store that the customers expect in times of chaos. I’m excited for Black Friday this year I think this is going to be a great one, definitely some awesome sales and free giveaways for the customers who do come shop,” said Tara Murphy, store manager at Victoria’s Secret, Smith Haven Mall.
It’s not only the associates at Victoria’s Secret who are prepared for this day of the year, security guards take precautions as well when preparing for the busiest day in the mall.
“Well, Black Friday can become dangerous and it has been dangerous in the past. For us, we think of it as a regular workday, it is just much more chaotic. You never know what you’re going to get on the job. Angry customers, impatient people can become violent, some people could get claustrophobic or even heat exhaustion, and of course we come across those who steal, so it’s important for us as security to be prepared for whatever may or may not happen this year,” said Martin DeTillio, security guard at Smith Haven Mall.
Black Friday is so popular around the United States that some people do consider it a holiday, or at least a day to remember.
“I remember hearing about a person getting trampled at Walmart for Black Friday. That’s just crazy, I feel like people need to chill out. If I didn’t work at the mall I would stay inside. I don’t believe there’s any sale worth the crazy people and long lines, and definelty not worth getting trampled. I’m honestly a little nervous to work Black Friday this year because this is my first Black Friday working at Macy’s. We’ve had a lot of discussion of what it will be like and the biggest sale is when we first open so I’m expecting that is when it will be most crowded,” said Celeste Levy, sales associate at Macy’s, Smith Haven Mall.
The Smith Haven Mall officially opens at midnight on Black Friday, while some doors will be open for shoppers to get an early start. Some stores located in the mall will be open as early as 10 p.m., and while this will indeed be a day of craziness and an overload of people, you have been warned. Black Friday could save you hundreds of dollars but staying home could also save you from hundreds of headaches, which will you chose?