Retailers, consumers and prices
Retail therapy for Black Friday
A major shopping mall operator is offering some early holiday perks to retail workers as they handle the onslaught of shoppers on Black Friday.
For the first time, Taubman is giving out free breakfast and mini massages to the workers at its shopping centers around the United States on Nov. 27 — a.k.a. the day after Thanksgiving, a.k.a. the kickoff of the winter holiday shopping season.
The idea is that if those workers are happier – and well fed — the day can be a bit less stressful for everyone. Hand, neck and shoulder massages may also ease the stress of dealing with thousands of shoppers flocking to stores in search of gifts.
Water bottles being handed out to retail staff (shown here) are adorned with the slogan “retail therapy refresh”
“relax. take a deep breath. smile,” the bottle reads.
Retailers, especially those at upscale malls like Taubman’s The Mall at Short Hills, could certainly use a boost. Sales are expected to be up minimally, at best, this holiday season, even after last year’s poor showing as the recession took hold.
Some of Taubman’s malls will also dole out free breakfast for early morning shoppers, spokeswoman Karen Mac Donald said. Other goodies, such as free early morning parking at centers where shoppers usually have to pay (like the Beverly Center in Los Angeles), are also planned.
The tokens of appreciation for retail workers are part of Taubman’s “The Year of the Merchant” program, which kicked off at the beginning of 2009, Mac Donald said.