Local malls prep for Black Friday
Assistant store manager Cat Flores gets clothing ready to put out for sale at The Limited in Oak Brook Center. This will be the first time that store will open at midnight for a Black Friday sale. | Chuck Fieldman—Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 21, 2013 1:56AM
BURR RIDGE — Black Friday shopping will get off to an early start at Burr Ridge Village Center.
A handful of stores are opening extra early, with the entire mall set to open its doors at 8 a.m. Friday, said Scott Rolston, manager of the Burr Ridge shopping center.
Those in the market for men’s clothing can start their shopping soon after the dishes are done on Thursday. Joseph A. Banks men’s clothier will open to shoppers from 10 p.m. Thanksgiving until 2 a.m. Friday. The store will reopen at 6 a.m. Friday and stay open until 8 p.m.
Victoria’s Secret and Aeropostale will open at 5 a.m., followed by Eddie Bauer at 6 a.m. Banana Republic, Gymboree and Clark’s Shoes will welcome shoppers beginning at 7 a.m.
“All other stores open at 8 a.m.,” said Rolston, who is optimistic that the day after Thanksgiving will be the start of a healthy holiday season for the local center.
“I’m excited about this holiday season. I think it’s going to be a good one,” he said.
Village Center stores will open at 9 a.m. on Saturdays beginning Dec. 8. That’s one hour earlier than usual.
“Beginning Friday, Dec. 14, we stay open until 9 p.m. every night,” Rolston said.
At Oak Brook Centre, shoppers can begin the Christmas shopping season as soon as Thursday turns into Friday.
“A number of stores look to get a head start,” said Chuck Fleming, senior general manager of Oakbrook Center. “The phenomena over the last few years has been to open at midnight, and a few of our stores have done that.
“Store openings have gotten earlier than they used to be, but I think that is just stores responding to what customers want.”
The official mall hours are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday. However, several stores will have extended hours.
Oakbrook Center stores planning to open at midnight Friday include Aeropostale, American Eagle Outfitters, Bakers, Bath & Body Works, Claire’s, Eddie Bauer, Express, Express Men, Hollister Co., The Limited, Macy’s, Microsoft, Ragstock, Starbucks, Urban Outfitters, and White House Black Market. Although the mall is officially closed on Thanksgiving, Sears will open at 8 p.m. that day.
Stores planning to open at 5 a.m. Friday are Lord & Taylor, XXI Forever, and Disney Store. Anthropologie is planning a 6 a.m. opening; Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday.
This is the first year in which The Limited at Oakbrook Center will open as early as midnight.
“Some of our other stores have done it before, but it’s the first time for this store, and it’s because a lot of the other stores in the mall will be open,” said Kelsie Murphy, co-manager.
Murphy believes the earlier openings for many stores at Oakbrook Center were prompted by 8 and 9 p.m. Thanksgiving Day openings planned at Walmart and Target stores.
“I don’t really know what to expect with our store; I’m not really expecting a big rush, but we definitely might get people who are out shopping stop in.”
Murphy said a dozen additional employees were hired to work for only four days around the Thanksgiving holiday because of extended hours.
Friends Amy Kaminski and Jenna Harris shopped at Oakbrook Center Nov. 15, but had no intentions of returning for a midnight visit on Black Friday.
“I’ll be happily in bed,” Harris said. “If the stores want to open early to help their business, that’s fine, but I’m not interested.”