Ward Center prepares for Black Friday - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Ward Center prepares for Black Friday

Malia Johnson Malia Johnson
Yumiko Kasai Yumiko Kasai

By Roger Mari - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Unofficially, it's the busiest shopping day of the year! Some stores at Ward Center prepare for what's known as Black Friday.

The day after Thanksgiving is when shoppers are expecting to flood the malls. During these tough economic times some vendors at Ward Center are toughing it out better than others.

For many retailers, Black Friday is the last chance to boost profits, but not everyone is banking on coming out ahead. Natasha Briley has been running her clothing store at Ward Center for the past five years and says 2008 has been the worst.

"Basically trying to break even. We're not seeing much of a profit right now so everything is going to keep ourselves afloat," says Retailer Natasha Briley.

With sales down 30% from this same time last year, she's dropping prices by as much as 40-to-75 percent.

It's been a different story at Sedona. Malia Johnson continues to gain profits after 20 years at Ward Center thanks to return customers. Preparing for black Friday is less stressful for her.

"We are bucking the trend and we are ahead for the year so we're very, very grateful and appreciative of our sales," says Retailer Malia Johnson.

Visitors from Japan are on the decline. When they arrive they do what they can to help stimulate Hawaii's struggling economy thanks to a strong yen.

"If we can contribute something, we are happy, so, on the other hand because of the exchange rate it helps us do more shopping in this island," says Japanese Visitor Yumiko Kasai.

While some are predicting a prosperous Christmas season, others might not be so lucky. But most vendors at ward center hope to "sale" through Black Friday.

Most malls will have extended hours on Black Friday. Ward Center will have its doors open from 9am-to-9pm. Ala Moana Center will be open from 6am-to-9pm.

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