By Johnny Jackson
Organizers of the annual after-Thanksgiving sale at Tanger Outlet Center in Locust Grove are preparing for record crowds.
"We anticipate an even bigger crowd than last year," said Holly Duffey, Tanger's general manager. "This year, more than ever, shoppers are going to be trying to find great deals."
She said retailers at Tanger have been optimistic, despite the national recession.
"The economy seems to be getting better, as far as the retail sector goes," Duffey said. "Everyone's still cautious about their dollars and are waiting for Thanksgiving weekend."
She said she expects to see throngs of shoppers at Tanger's Fourth Annual Midnight Madness event, which begins the evening of Thanksgiving Day, just prior to midnight on Black Friday, Nov. 27.
"Hopefully, people anticipate that there are going to be a lot of shoppers out this coming Thanksgiving weekend and they plan to be a little bit more patient," she added. "We expect a great turnout. It's really a fun night for all of us."
Duffey said Tanger's 70 brand-name and designer retail outlet stores should be busy this year.
April Nash and the staff at Papaya Clothing will get their first big test in sales at Tanger.
Nash, manager of the clothing shop for women, helped open the Papaya Clothing store on Thursday, and plans to take part in the Nov. 27 sales event.
"I'm actually really excited," Nash said. "I think it will be a fun experience. I am going to have every girl working that day."
The store, like many other retailers at Tanger, will open at 12 a.m., Friday morning, Nash said. She added that the store will remain open to visitors until 10 p.m., that night.
"This is a holiday shopping event that millions of Tanger customers really get excited about because of the great savings to scoop up," said Steven Tanger, president and chief executive officer of Tanger Factory Outlet Centers, Inc.
The weekend-long event will also include giveaways.
According to organizers, the first 250 Tanger shoppers, 18 years old or older, who register their visit at Tanger Shopper Services will be rewarded with a free PJ Moose plush holiday gift.
Also, the first 250 "early bird" shoppers who register their visit at Tanger Shopper Services on Saturday, Nov. 28, will receive a free pack of Harry and David's Moose Munch snack.
"This year, more than ever, holiday shoppers are looking for ways to save more on their holiday gift giving," Tanger continued. "Midnight Madness at Tanger is a great way to find quality, brand-name and designer products and make your holiday shopping budget stretch much further."
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