Story by Michelle Hawks, Contributing writer
The Kentucky Oaks Mall in Paducah will be closed on Thanksgiving Day and will reopen Friday morning at 6 a.m.
Candice Freeland, marketing director, said this decision came after careful planning and discussion. She said there were multiple factors that went into the decision, including the need for shopping hours.
“We decided it would be in the best interest of those working in and for the mall and for their families to take the day off,” Freeland said. “Everybody needs a break.”
According to the National Retail Federation, the Black Friday weekend brought in more than 151 million shoppers nationwide last year, making it the largest shopping weekend of the year.
“It’s crazy,” Freeland said. “But it’s fun. It’s a lot of fun.”
She said in years past, they have estimated between 90,000-100,000 people visit the mall over the three-day shopping period.
Many stores in the area, like Walmart and Macy’s, will remain open on Thanksgiving to begin sales.
However, those at Kentucky Oaks Mall aren’t concerned that being closed will cut into their profits.
Freeland said while they want to remain competitive with the stores that are choosing to remain open, they are still expecting to bring in a large amount of consumers Friday morning.
“People will be relaxed and ready to shop,” she said.
She said they plan on continuing the Balloon Drop Friday morning, which is a tradition that the mall looks forward to every year.
“There’s a prize in every balloon. It might be $5 or $500. You just never know,” said Freeland.
She said the community has rallied around their decision to be closed, which is something that makes them feel like they are doing the right thing.
Freeland said they’ve received dozens of messages from community members applauding them for the move and showing their support.
“I’ve even had an employee say that she almost cried because she has a new baby, and she was so happy she would be home to spend Thanksgiving with her family,” Freeland said.
Kentucky Oaks Mall is corporately owned by Cafaro Company, which is based out of Niles, Ohio. The company has 12 other malls, each of which decide whether or not to remain open on the holiday.
Freeland said Cafaro, as well as those who work at Kentucky Oaks Mall, will evaluate the results of this year’s sales to see what happens in the future.