Consumer Nation

One California Mall's Laid-Back Plan for Black Friday

There are 40 Happy Returns bars nationwide. Thirty are located in high-end malls, such as Santa Monica Place in California.

As retailers race to earlier and earlier opening times, kicking off Black Friday on Thanksgiving Day, one California shopping mall is taking a more laid-back approach.

Santa Monica Place will open its doors at 8 a.m. Pacific Time, long after many of the East Coast night owls and early birds have returned home with their purchases.

This mall can afford to do this because luxury shoppers aren't as deal hungry, said Julia Ladd, property manager of Santa Monica Place. The mall, which has stores such as Bloomingdale's and Nordstrom as well as luxury retailers Tiffany's and Burberry, also attracts numerous tourists, who are more likely to sleep in than to wake up early and bargain hunt.

Santa Monica Place's Laid Back Black Friday

According to Ladd, consumers have adjusted over the past few years to a weak economy.

"What we found is the shopper, over the last three years, has really adjusted," Ladd said. "They've become much more practical. They plan for what they're going to spend. So they're looking for value and good deals, they're very targeted in what they want to get, and if there is a specific item — especially on the accessories, handbags, and shoes — a shopper may do...lower-price shopping and then save on that side so they can buy the luxury item."

Ladd is seeing higher levels of spending, and expects sales to be up between 2.5 percent and 3 percent, which is in-line with the holiday spending forecastissued by theNational Retail Federation.

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