Malls brace for Black Friday stampede
Eastern Cape shopping malls are expecting to receive tens of thousands of shoppers for the annual Black Friday sale and managers are leaving nothing to chance.
Some malls are opening at midnight on Thursday, while others will welcome their first customers at 7am.
East London’s Hemingways Mall general manager Reinette van Tonder, said the centre was expecting 60,000 people to come through the door.
Van Tonder said additional security and cleaning staff would be put in place.
The centre will open at 7am and close at 8pm. Retailers Pick n Pay and Checkers will open from 6am.
The mall, home to 160 shops, would be closely guarded by security personnel and the police, she said.
“We are more than ready to receive people on the day.
“The numbers we are expecting are more than double our average day so we have called on the police and beefed up our security to patrol.
“The centre will be open for most of the day so we encourage shoppers to use those flexible hours and not feel pressured to push through infrastructure,” she said.
The mall would run a flat rate of R5 for parking for the day.
Vincent Park Mall general manager Joseph Parsley said the Game store would operate from midnight on Thursday.
“Game is one of our most popular stores on Black Friday,” he said.
“The shop will open its doors at midnight and be open until 6pm on Friday.
“The centre will have free parking for its shoppers. We are expecting between 45,000 and 50,000 people on the day.”
The mall will also bolster its security detail.
Parsley said he had observed how shoppers planned their Black Friday visits.
“Most families who come through the doors do a ‘split’.
“The mom will go to one store while the father visits another and, more often than not, the children go to stores that interest them.
“Most people plan their shopping carefully,” he said.
The Woolworths at Vincent Park Mall will open at 7am and close at 7pm.
In Komani, Nonesi Mall manager Yolanda Moss said they were more than ready for Black Friday.
“The major shops will be opened at 6am and some of the shops at 7am. Most of the shops will be open until 8pm,” she said.
She said they, too, had put extra security measures in place, including calling on the police.