Oakbrook Center readies for Black Friday
Cat Flores, an assistant manager at The Limited in Oakbrook Center, gets clothing ready to put out for sale. The Limited is one of several stores at the mall that will open at midnight Nov. 23 for Black Friday. | Chuck Fieldman—Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 21, 2013 1:55AM
OAK BROOK— Oakbrook Center will become the mall that doesn’t sleep for Black Friday.
The day after Thanksgiving traditional start of the Christmas shopping season will begin at several mall stores as soon as Thursday turns into Friday.
“A number of stores look to get a head start,” said Chuck Fleming, senior general manager of Oakbrook Center. “The phenomena over the last few years has been to open at midnight, and a few of our stores have done that.
“Store openings have gotten earlier than they used to be, but I think that is just stores responding to what customers want.”
The official mall hours are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. that Friday. However, several stores will have extended hours.
Oakbrook Center stores planning to open at midnight Friday include Aeropostale, American Eagle Outfitters, Bakers, Bath & Body Works, Claire’s, Eddie Bauer, Express, Express Men, Hollister Co., The Limited, Macy’s, Microsoft, Ragstock, Starbucks, Urban Outfitters, and White House Black Market. Although the mall is officially closed on Thanksgiving, Sears will open at 8 p.m. that day.
Stores planning to open at 5 a.m. Friday are Lord & Taylor, XXI Forever, and Disney Store. Anthropologie is planning a 6 a.m. opening; Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday.
This is the first year in which The Limited at Oakbrook Center will open as early as midnight.
“Some of our other stores have done it before, but it’s the first time for this store, and it’s because a lot of the other stores in the mall will be open,” said Kelsie Murphy, co-manager.
Murphy believes the earlier openings for many stores at Oakbrook Center were prompted by 8 and 9 p.m. Thanksgiving Day openings planned at Walmart and Target stores.
“I don’t really know what to expect with our store; I’m not really expecting a big rush, but we definitely might get people who are out shopping stop in.”
Murphy said a dozen additional employees were hired to work for only four days around the Thanksgiving holiday because of extended hours.
Friends Amy Kaminski and Jenna Harris shopped at Oakbrook Center Nov. 15, but had no intentions of returning for a midnight visit on Black Friday.
“I’ll be happily in bed,” Harris said. “If the stores want to open early to help their business, that’s fine, but I’m not interested.”
Kaminski said she has no interest in shopping on Black Friday, especially with stores now opening earlier.
“You can’t mix your holidays,” she said. “Thanksgiving needs to be over first. People do it because they’re looking for good deals, but I like to sleep.”