Southern Park Mall preparing for Black Friday shoppers with safety measures in place

Local News

Both the Southern Park and Eastwood malls are opening at 6 a.m.

BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – Black Friday will be different this year. First of all, it’s not beginning on Thanksgiving, and none of the big chain stores will be open Thursday night. On Friday, opening times vary.

The most common opening time on Friday is 5 a.m., which includes Walmart, Best Buy, Kohl’s, Old Navy and Dick’s.

Both the Southern Park and Eastwood malls are opening at 6 a.m., as is Bed, Bath and Beyond.

Target is opening at 7 a.m. and TJ Maxx at 8 a.m.

Brain Gabbert, general manager of the Southern Park Mall, talked about the precautions that are taking place there.

“We’re in full compliance with everything we could possibly do, but we’re making sure that people are going to be wearing masks. We’re making sure that we’ve got social distancing dots out in place for people, reminding people where to stand when they’re in line. We’ve allowed all the stores to do anything they need to do out in front of their stores to allow for lines to be spaced out, instead of people just packed in there. We’re letting them have a little more space out in the common area so they can stretch out their lines because everybody is also having to adhere to the capacity limitations inside their spaces,” he said.

Even though we’re just entering the shopping season, it seems as though a lot has already been happening, especially at the Southern Park Mall.

“So far at the Southern Park Mall, things have been great. We’re seeing good crowds on the weekends and we’re seeing people really taking seriously all these guidelines. Everywhere I go I’m watching people and, you know, we’re not here to necessarily to be the mask police but at the same time we are tasked with making sure people come into our center are wearing masks. Everywhere I go, I’m seeing people wearing masks and they seem to be keeping their distance from other folks and they seem to be really toeing the line,” Gabbert said.

Gabbert said he expects people to be waiting in line before 6 a.m. on Friday.

“We will have our doors open half an hour early to let people come in, but yeah, we’ll be expecting. You know, this is the first year in several years that we’re not opening on Thanksgiving, so we’re expecting those folks who used to come in on Thanksgiving night will probably be coming in Friday morning. So we are expecting some lines but we’re prepared for that. Like I said, we’ll have precautions in place to allow people to adequately separate themselves from other people,” he said.

The Southern Park Mall will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday.

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