Mall of America sees “Early Bird” Black Friday traffic increase

Zachary Russell
Digital Editor
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Mall of America
Mall of America saw an influx of Black Friday shoppers this year.

Black Friday shoppers were eager to visit the Mall of America on the shopping holiday when the doors opened at 7 a.m.

According to the nation’s largest mall, more than 12,000 visitors came through mall doors within the first hour of opening on Nov. 24, a 20% increase from 2022. The first guests in line arrived before 3 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.

A recent survey from Mall of America revealed that nearly four out of 10 of its shoppers identified themselves as “Early Birds” when it comes to Black Friday, meaning they are the first to arrive after Thanksgiving festivities. At 24%, the next most popular entrants were “Late to the Gamers,” those who show up later to avoid the morning rush.

“Black Friday is a special day that we look forward to every holiday season,” said Jill Renslow, chief business development and marketing officer at Mall of America. “This year, we continued to embrace the traditions our guests have come to know and love, while adding some exciting new elements of surprise.”

In addition to scouting out deals, Mall of America Early Birds had the chance to win several prizes. The first 4,000 guests who came through the north entrance received a Mystery Card. Each one revealed a silver, gold, or doorbuster prize. Silver winners picked up their prize at a participating Mall of America retailer, while Gold winners headed to a redemption center to receive their prize valued between $20 to $250.

The big winners of the day got to experience the new Doorbuster Zone, a playful twist on the nostalgia of Black Friday doorbusters. Winners selected their designated doorbuster from a lineup of entertaining characters to bust through a door to retrieve their prize valued between $250 to nearly $600.

The first 200 people in line at the North Entrance of the Mall received a $25 Mall of America gift card in addition to their Mystery Card. One winner within the first 200 guests was also the “Wonka Winner,” and received a $2,500 gift card courtesy of the film “Wonka,” in theaters on Dec. 15.

Mall of America is now gearing up for the Christmas shopping season with its “Believe” theme, which was launched at the beginning of November. The mall’s holiday decorations include roughly 136,000 hanging twinkle lights, 22 six-foot by eight-foot ornaments, 12 large hanging snowflakes and 225 Christmas trees.

“The holiday guest is a very, very special guest for us because it’s more than shopping, it’s more than going on rides,” said MOA VP of marketing Grant Buntje. VP in one of the mall’s recent “So Much More” podcasts. “There’s the sense in holiday that it’s different. There’s a sense of magic that happens. We really wanted to tap into that this year with the ‘Believe’ campaign. Not only for our guests, but for us as a brand.”

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