The Mall of America has announced its Black Friday shopping event will now take place over a span of seven days either side of Thanksgiving Day.
The megamall in recent years has opened its doors to a large crowd early on Black Friday morning, with many of those first through the doors getting scratch-off gift cards to spend inside.
This year, with the COVID-19 pandemic altering shopping tastes, the mall will be spreading its Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales over the course of eight days between Nov. 23 and 30 (it will be closed on Thanksgiving, Nov. 26).
That way, the kickoff to the busiest shopping period of the year will be spread out over several days in an effort to reduce crowding, with the MOA also announcing expanded shopping hours for the holidays that will see it open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday to Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.
Those hours will be extended even further on specific days until the end of the year, including 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Black Friday itself.
The mall will have daily "giving" themes between Nov. 23-30, which is seeing it team up with several charities "to share their mission and story," which will include pop-up gift wrapping stations run by nonprofits, and an art experience by Juxtaposition Arts.
And while there will be no scratch offs for the first Black Friday shoppers (the mall is discouraging lines outside its doors), the mall says it will have special offers throughout the building.
One-day specials will also be offered for attractions including Nickelodeon Universe, Crayola, SEA LIFE Aquarium, Moose Mountain and Rock of Ages mini golf, and XD Ride.
“This year is going to be a holiday season unlike any other, and we understand our guests want a convenient and safe shopping experience,” said Jill Renslow, executive vice president of Mall of America. “That’s why we have extended the traditional Black Friday experience to span eight days beginning the Monday before Thanksgiving. Each day will focus on a different way of giving to celebrate the season.”
"We know that safety is going to be top of mind for our guests this holiday season,” continued Renslow. "That’s one of the reasons we’ve extended this celebration to eight days. While we invite everyone to visit, we also do not want guests to experience long lines. So, we are spreading things out to help keep everyone safe."
You can find out more about the MOA's plans here.