Central VA malls plan to close on Thanksgiving

Published: Oct. 13, 2016 at 4:31 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 13, 2017 at 8:19 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The trend of stores being open on Thanksgiving in recent years appears to be coming to a close.

After the giant Mall of America announced last week that it would close on the holiday, several malls in Virginia are closing that day too.

Southpark Mall in Colonial Heights announced Wednesday that it would close on Thanksgiving. Anchor stores can be allowed to open, but so far no stores have announced their plans.

CBL & Associates, which owns Southpark Mall, said it is closing 72 of its properties across the country, which includes malls in Chesapeake, Christiansburg, Lynchburg and Roanoke.

Regency Square on Parham Road said Thursday that it will not open, but individual retailers can open if they chose to.

"This allows everyone to take a breather," said spokesperson Julie Gordon, who said the mall opened at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving last year.

Short Pump Town Center's Director of Marketing Pam Howland says plans are being finalized now for the outdoor mall's holiday plans.

"More than likely Short Pump Town Center will open at 7 a.m. on Black Friday, which is when we opened in 2015 as well," said Howland.

A spokesperson for Chesterfield Towne Center said plans for Thanksgiving and Black Friday are "still being worked on" and a schedule will be released soon.

In addition, a spokesperson with Stony Point Fashion Park confirmed the open-air shopping mall would be closed Thanksgiving, but Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar officials say they will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thanksgiving Day.

Some retailers believe closing down will be better for business all-around.

The idea is it gives employees a break to rest up before the rush of Black Friday, while giving stores the time to promote sales, and will possibly create a stronger brand loyalty for shoppers who see the retailers as putting family back into the Thanksgiving tradition.

"It seems to me, this is the first year where the majority of retailers are looking to push back, at least from the early Thanksgiving opening, and doing more on Black Friday itself," said Steve Bonniville, the General Manager of Regency Square.

"There are more important things than business, family is number one," Bonniville said. "We want to be able to give our employees time with their families. There aren't too many holidays we get to enjoy in the retail business, so we want to take advantage of it when we can."

Regency Square will let individual stores decide if they want to open, because security won't be taking a holiday. The mall will be staffed with security 24/7.

Additional phone calls and emails have been placed with several other shopping centers in Central Virginia about their plans for Thanksgiving and will be added to this story when information is confirmed.

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