By Patch Local Editor Ted Glanzer.
In addition to the annual challenges facing shoppers for this Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday, there’s an added wrinkle this year. So be prepared for a little more of a rush as you head to the Berlin Turnpike or up to Westfarms Mall this holiday season.
According to Elizabeth Zigmont, marketing coordinator for Westfarms, shoppers have less time to conduct their holiday shopping this year.
Chanukah starts on Wednesday. What’s more, Black Friday is on Nov. 29, just 26 days from Christmas, giving shoppers six fewer days to conduct their holiday shopping.
“A lot of retailers are responding to the demands by starting their sales early,” Zigmont said in a telephone interview on Monday. “There are a lot of great discounts to drive people to get their shopping done or at least start it.”
Westfarms will have about 80 retailers, as well as Macy’s and J.C. Penney, open on Thanksgiving at 8 p.m., with the remaining 80 or so stores opening at midnight or 6 a.m., Friday, Zigmont said.
“A lot will have great discounts and great deals,” said Zigmont, including some retailers offering 40 to 50 percent off everything in the store up to, say, 1 p.m. Friday. Then discounts will be tiered throughout the weekend for many retailers, Zigmont said.
Shoppers on Thanksgiving typically are the ones who finish with dinner and are raring to go, Zigmont said. Others who arrive later are perhaps more willing to wait in line for their favorite retailers to open in the morning.
“They’re the early bird or early risers,” Zigmont said. “Throughout the day, we’ll see other people trickle in.”
Among the more popular items of shoppers’ lists include the Xbox One at Gamestop and the Microsoft kiosk and the Playstation 4, which will also be available at Gamestop. Supplies will be limited, however. Zigmont recommends people call stores first before driving to the shopping center to ensure items are in stock.
Other items on people’s wish lists include the iPhones 5s and 5c, as well as tablets.
In the toy department, Disney is having great sales on its plush doll items all weekend, Zigmont said.
Zigmont said that people will also be shopping for themselves, particularly in the clothing department.
“It’s hard not to take advantage of the great deals for yourself,” she said. “There’s a lot of me gifting or buying one item as a gift and one item for yourself. Some people are looking to build on their closets.”
Shoppers are encouraged to visit the Westfarms website (www.shopwestfarms.com) for additional information on store hours and discounts that are being offered throughout the weekend.
“The holiday shopping season is off to a great stop,” Zigmont said. “It’s a great time of the year.”
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