HOOVER, AL (WIAT) — The Riverchase Galleria in Hoover is announcing new hours for Thanksgiving and Black Friday this year. The mall will be closing significantly earlier on Thanksgiving night.
“Just to address it out front, we’ve just taken a historic view of activity Thanksgiving night after 9 p.m. and worked in conjunction, as we always do, with the city of Hoover and other law enforcement agencies and made the determination to go with 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.,” explained Galleria General Manager Mike White.
“One added benefit to the retailers is that it’s going to allow them more time to spend flipping their inventory for the next morning,” he said, “because in the past we’ve been open past midnight and then they’re back in at 5 a.m. to start the next day.”
White said that he’s had a lot of positive communication with retailers about the holiday hour changes. “[We] just feel that this is going to give our customers the best opportunity for a safe, happy Thanksgiving experience,” he said.
Last year, the mall made national headlines when shots rang out on Thanksgiving night, ultimately resulting in the fatal officer-involved shooting of Emantic “EJ” Bradford Junior. Both Galleria officials and Hoover City leaders addressed questions about security at the mall for this holiday shopping season.
“We’ve got a great partnership with the Riverchase Galleria,” said Hoover City Administrator Allan Rice. “We’ll work with them in any decision they make, and if they’ve decided to modify operating hours on Thanksgiving or throughout the shopping season, we’re prepared to a resource that like we always do. We want people to come out and have a safe family experience.”
Rice said that shoppers can expect to see officers patrolling the parking lots, decks, and inside of the facilities–not only for security reasons, but also for traffic management.
“We’ve had a number of retailers that have just come on board,” White said. “Literally, within the past couple of days. We have some expansions and some renovations that are going on right now. So we’re open for business and we expect a big, robust holiday season just like always.”
Mall patrons can expect to see Christmas decorations going up on November 3rd. On Friday, November 8th at 7:00 p.m. the Galleria will host the arrival of Santa Claus and it’s lighting ceremony.