In what has become a holiday tradition like no other in St. Michael or Albertville, thousands of shoppers will make their way to this community Thursday night to begin a marathon day of shopping.
They will be welcomed with open arms at the , with several stores opening as early as 10 p.m. Thanksgiving evening (including Nike, to name one) and the rest popping open at midnight on Black Friday.
According to Abigail Opiah of Nike Communications, the Albretville Premium Outlets started a nationwide movement when it began opening at midnight a few years ago.
“Shoppers will find additional savings on top of the already low every day prices when the stores open at midnight (and some even earlier on Thanksgiving evening!), kicking off the official start of the holiday shopping season,” she stated. “As the pioneer of midnight openings, Premium Outlets now celebrates the tradition at all of its outlet centers nationwide.”
PARKING: There is plenty of parking available at the mall site, but it does fill up quickly on busy days. For this reason, Albertville Premium Outlets have set up a pair of parking options beyond the main location.
: Located just west of the mall, may park at the furniture outlet by going north of the outlets and hanging a left at the sign. There is room for nearly 100 more cars here.
: As always, shoppers can park at the school and catch a shuttle bus, courtesy of an arrangement between the outlets and Don's Bus Service. Shuttles run throughout the evening.
Here are a few tips from the Albertville Premium Outlets on “surviving” the biggest shopping night of the year:
Have a Game Plan. Check out www.premiumoutlets.com before you shop for a center map, sales information and all the details you need to determine your plan-of-attack. Knowing ahead of time will make shopping less overwhelming when you hit the center on Black Friday. Also, be sure to check for off-site parking lots in case the main ones are full. Establish your gift list in advance and be sure to include plenty of special items for yourself – your deserve it. And be sure to stick to a budget.
Look for the QR Code. Premium Outlets will be utilizing QR codes for the first time for this sale event providing shoppers with a sneak peak of sales during the big event. QR codes will be available in newspaper ads as well as on site posters and materials. The information will be updated on mobile pages on a continual basis and the most comprehensive list of sales will be available during the event.
Take Advantage of Extra Perks. Sign up for FREE for the VIP Shopper Club at www.premiumoutlets.com/vip to receive exclusive online coupons, a voucher for a free Coupon Book, insider news and info, shopping tips and more.
Timing is Everything. Many stores offer extra savings as an incentive for early shoppers but if getting up early is not your forte, shop later in the day - it's a great time to avoid some of the larger crowds. Some stores will be opening even before midnight on Thanksgiving and the sale doesn't end on Black Friday. Saturday and Sunday will offer great sales as well! Check the website for details.
Create a Black Friday Survival Kit. Arm yourself with everything you’ll need to make your shopping experience pleasant. Be sure to pack emergency snacks including power bars, bottled water as well as practical items such as a digital music player, book or magazine to help pass the time while braving long lines.
Dress for the Occasion. Pick an outfit that's comfortable, stylish and practical. Wear layers so you can easily try on other pieces over your own tank or tee. The right shoes matter, so wear shoes or boots that slide on and off easily and are comfortable enough for navigating through the center and make waiting in long lines a breeze.
Shop with People who Love to Shop. Shopping this weekend is not for the meek and timid. It is power shopping at its best. Do it is best to shop with people who also love to shop and enjoy the thrill of the hunt. Tag team, text what each of you are finding, have one person stand in line for your favorite store while the other person shops.
Be Social. Black Friday is no longer confined to the Thanksgiving Day paper. Stores will post information and offer extra discounts on their Facebook and Twitter page. Follow Premium Outlets on Twitter @premiumoutlets and Facebook: facebook.com/premiumoutlets for the inside scoop on deals, store openings and more. Plus, take this opportunity to brag about your find to the world.
Don’t Hesitate. If you see it and love it, buy it because it will be gone soon. Merchandise sells fast and the item may never be sold again, especially during the After-Thanksgiving Weekend Sale when the deals are unbeatable.