When it comes to holiday shopping, the earlier the better. So say Las Vegans and visitors who were out hitting the shops this week before the madness of Black Friday.
North Las Vegas resident Juanita Ramirez and her family were sitting in front of retailer Vince on Monday afternoon, taking a break before visiting more stores at the Las Vegas Premium Outlets North.
“We’ve been Christmas shopping for the past two weeks. We have a really big family,” Ramirez said. “We’ve been coming back and forth to the outlets. We come here a lot — literally, a lot. Almost every weekend.”
Ramirez started early to avoid the crowds, but she’s not even close to finishing her holiday shopping. She was looking to purchase purses and some accessories.
Galleria at Sunset Marketing Director Jamie Cooper said the mall’s tenants started advertising their Black Friday deals weeks ago.
“They’ve already started because the urgency of Black Friday is not as urgent anymore,” Manning said. “All the retailers are trying to make it more convenient for guests, so you can shop early to avoid the high traffic. Or, what a lot of retailers are doing now is purchasing online then pick up in store.”
Couple Gregory and Jamie Lee of Los Angeles hit the Premium Outlets North to finish their Christmas shopping.
“We decided to shop today because a lot of sales go on early in the week and we just wanted to avoid the crowds,” Gregory said. “Whatever we can’t get today, we’ll just do online for the rest of it and be done.”
Jamie said the pair used to wait in line before stores opened Thanksgiving Day, but changed their tactic over the years.
“We used to wait until midnight when the deals would start for the outlets, but they started (opening) earlier and earlier and I just started online shopping more and more,” she said.
U.K. resident Evie Manning said she spent about $800 on holiday gifts and items for herself on Monday, but will likely head back to the outlet again this week.
Manning was watching over the plethora of shopping bags she and a friend accumulated while her friend was inside a nearby store.
“I’ll sit outside and my friend will go and do the shopping and then we’ll switch,” she said. “We’ll do the Fashion Show mall and Caesars’ shops but we do like coming here. I try and do most of it here (in Vegas) if I can. The American brands are cheaper.”
Open for business
Las Vegas North Premium Outlets opened its doors at 9 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day and will remain open until 10 p.m. on Black Friday. Vicki Rousseau, area director of marketing and business development for the North and South Premium Outlets, said it’s surprising how many people will shop at 3 a.m.
Barbara Burley of Pittsburgh said you can expect to see her at home during the busiest shopping weekend of the year. She was at the outlets to shop at David Yurman, Pandora, Burberry and Foot Locker.
“I’ve seen it on Black Friday. It’s terrible,” she said. “I can’t wait in line.”
Fashion Show Las Vegas opened a bit later on Thanksgiving Day from 6 p.m. to midnight. It will reopen for Black Friday at 6 a.m. until 10 p.m.
Fashion Show Senior Marketing Manager Esther Sarpong said Black Friday is the biggest day for the mall and it’s opened up more parking spaces to accommodate the influx of shoppers.
“We will be staffing up big time in the areas of Guest Services, operations, security, and more,” Sarpong said. “With our returning wrapping services and our new Dropit delivery service, our customers will have a fun and convenient shopping experience at Fashion Show. While we don’t have exact numbers to share, I can tell you that our property experienced a significant uptick in traffic and sales numbers last year during this time.”
Meanwhile, Galleria at Sunset opened its doors at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day and will stay open through 10 p.m. on Black Friday.
Henderson residents James Lambert and Erin McDermott just purchased some T-shirts as Christmas gifts for their friends Wednesday afternoon at Galleria.
“We don’t (wait in line),” McDermott said. “That’s why we’re here today.”
Lambert, who added that the good stuff is sold online, said the two try to keep an element of surprise by not asking friends what they’d want for Christmas.
“Part of the fun is the surprise,” he said, adding that it does make finding the right gift harder. “We’ll sit in the store for like an hour arguing what we think is better, but it’s fun.”
The two said their go-to shops at the mall are usually pop culture-focused retailer BoxLunch and Hot Topic.
Newly minted 10-year-old Kania Jackson was celebrating her birthday with a shopping spree at Galleria compliments of mom, Kanesha Coleman.
Jackson said her Christmas list includes clothes, accessories, AirPods and a computer.
“She’s 10 and doesn’t need anything,” Coleman said. “It was hard finding birthday gifts so I’ll just give her cash and let her pick out what she wants.”
Coleman said she usually gets her holiday shopping done before Thanksgiving when everything is on sale, but she’ll likely search for deals this weekend.
“Come Saturday, I’ll be out shopping,” she said. “I’m not going to do the Black Friday mad rush. I’ll go during the following weekday when they have the store restocked because if you notice, the sales still continue.”