Kirkwood Mall optimistic over Black Friday crowds

Published: Nov. 26, 2021 at 4:55 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Shoppers showed up in Bismarck for the kick-off to the holiday buying season. Early Black Friday crowds did not disappoint at Bismarck’s Kirkwood Mall.

Mall management were looking forward to a return to normal consumer behavior and a long day of sales.

“You can tell people are excited to shop. They’re excited to be out, so I think it’s going to be a really exciting day,” said Mikalah Auer, marketing director at Kirkwood Mall.

The atmosphere inside the mall felt much more like pre-pandemic days to these store owners.

“We opened the doors at a quarter to 7 and already there were people standing outside. It’s been steady and busy the whole time. I feel like people are in the mood to go shopping,” said Tammy Wahl, owner at Uptowne Loft.

The strong early morning crowds were just what mall managers were expecting as the National Retail Federation predicts two million more shoppers to hit the stores nationwide on Black Friday. They say last year was successful, considering pandemic-related safety measures in place. But this year, there seems to be a renewed spirit to shop.

The National Retail Federation says more consumers have paid down debt and added to their savings, paving the way for stores to meet sales goals even with record-high inflation.

“Our stores have been really shattering their records over the last year,” Auer said. “So that’s a really good sign and there’s a lot of really good deals going on today. I think that’s a good indication that things are pretty steady as far as pricing goes.”

Experts say it’s even more reason to take advantage of the weekend’s deals: to get those savings where you can and avoid any shipping headaches.

The savings continue into the weekend with Small Business Saturday. There are 40 locally owned businesses in Kirkwood Mall, each marked with a sign. The mall is giving out 50 $10 gift cards to those shops right away starting at 10 a.m. Saturday.

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