The day after Thanksgiving promises to be a busy one for the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, as it throws open its doors at 7 a.m. for Black Friday.
It marks the start of the Christmas shopping period across the country, and the mall here will be open until 9:30 p.m. for shoppers looking for deals.
Todd Jerscheid, director of marketing and business development, said anticipation is building for customers and mall employees alike.
“It’s like our Super Bowl Day, if you will. It’s a big day for us,” he said. “It’s where retailers really pull out all the stops and put their best foot forward, and not only supply great sales and promotions and that sort of thing, but it’s also offering that customer experience and welcoming shoppers in during the holiday.”
Jerscheid said customers can expect a slightly slower start to the morning — fewer doorbuster shoppers — than in some other places that open early for Black Friday. But then by mid-morning, foot traffic really picks up.
“I’ve been here nine years, and we pretty much have a very good flow of traffic on Black Friday,” he said. “We are not an early-riser mall, like some malls that open really early in the morning. I would say from 11 a.m. on, the traffic becomes very heavy and then it goes on through the remainder of the evening.”
As in previous years, Jerscheid said the mall will offer its “Shopper Survivor Kit” for the first 100 people who visit Guest Services after opening. The kit has bottled water, coupons, samples and snacks, and is intended to encourage people to shop early in the day.
And the other offer, which Jerscheid said is a “pretty big hit,” is “Santa’s Grab Bag Giveaway.” If a shopper spends $150 or more between 7 and 9 a.m., they can reach into the grab bag and have a chance to win gift cards, prizes from retailers or even a free coffee at Starbucks.
That is in addition to the dozens of stores that will have sales and deals throughout Black Friday and the weekend, while the mall will have a special visitor for children of all ages.
“We can’t forget the big man in the red suit,” Jerscheid said. “He is definitely here. He arrived on November 18, and will be here for photos… Kids can also write a little letter electronically to Santa and send it up to the North Pole.”
The annual Crystal Couture fashion show and sale is scheduled to return the first weekend of February for its eighth consecutive event.
This year’s show will be held from Feb. 4-6, taking place from 6-10 p.m. on Thursday and Friday and from 2-10 p.m. on Saturday.
The “360 degree immersive shopping experience” will be held at the Crystal City shops at 1750 Crystal City Drive.
The event is a combined fashion show and fashion pop-up sale, bringing together upwards of 50 boutiques, designers and retailers from throughout the metro area. Shoppers will be able to purchase discounted merchandise from these vendors both off the rack and off the runway.
Attendees can also enjoy drinks from the bar, music, complimentary 5-minute makeovers — makeup and hair — and the opportunity to meet local fashion consultants.
While admission is free all three days of the show and sale, shoppers can upgrade to the “VIP Experience” for $20 per person. The experience will last from 2-6 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 6 and will include gift bags, access to three hours of VIP shopping, an open bar and $20 of “Couture Cash” to spend at any retailer.
Applications for interested retailers, models and beauty team members are now being accepted in preparation for the event.
Proactive shoppers can get a head start on next season’s holiday shopping at specialty gift store Two the Moon’s (6501 29th St. N) upcoming Christmas in July sale.
Two the Moon, which opened last year, sells an eclectic selection of primarily local merchandise, ranging from pottery to greeting cards to baby clothes. During the one-day Christmas in July sale, owner Johanna Braden says all holiday items in the store will be 40 percent off, including holiday merchandise for the upcoming seasons of Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. All other store items will be 10 percent off.
The bulk of Two the Moon’s offerings are made in Arlington or, barring that, somewhere in the USA. The shop currently carries goods from about 25 different Arlington artisans, including headbands and bows, jewelry, handmade cards and canvas tote-bags. Braden also works to hire locally and says she has given both neighborhood mothers and kids jobs at the store.
Braden opened the store on Sept. 2, 2014 after ending her 35-year career in nursing. Owning a local gift shop had long been a dream of hers, and because she knew that nothing like it existed in the Williamsburg neighborhood where she lived, she decided to give it a shot.
Braden says that business has been “phenomenal” ever since she opened up shop last year.
“Just the other day, someone came in and told me that on the last day of school this year, all the kids came in with gifts for their teachers, and they were all Two the Moon bags!,” said Braden. “It’s great — that’s just so great to hear.”
The Christmas in July sale is scheduled for July 18 from 10 a.m.-7 p.m., with a “rain date” of July 19. Regular store hours are Sunday 12 p.m.-5 p.m. and Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
The Animal Welfare League of Arlington is launching a holiday campaign this Friday to encourage locals to adopt pets and shop for a good cause.
On Black Friday (Nov. 29) only, AWLA is offering half-price adoption fees for all the animals at its shelter at 2650 S. Arlington Mill Drive.
AWLA will also be offering gift-wrapping for those coming from Black Friday sales, from noon to 5:00 p.m. One wrapped gift costs $3 and four gifts will cost $10.
The organization is offering several other promotions and charity drives for the holiday season. From AWLA:
- A Pawsitively, Purrfect Gift Certificate – Surprise a loved one with an AWLA gift certificate redeemable for a pet adoption fee, retail or bakery items or a microchip and rabies vaccination clinic. Gift certificates are available for purchase at the League or over the phone (703) 931-9241.
- Sweet Treats for Fido – Looking for a stocking stuffer for your pooch? A 5 inch tall, custom Rudolph cookie treat by Dogma Bakery & Boutique is on sale exclusively at AWLA for $3 per treat or $5 for three treats. Proceeds from each purchase will benefit AWLA shelter animals.
- Collars for Canines – This holiday season AWLA is holding a “collar drive” for shelter dogs. The League is in need of Quick Release Snap Martingale Collars. Collars can be purchased and shipped directly to the League from an Amazon wish list.
- Purchasing a 2014 AWLA Calendar – Features inspirational stories and photos of League adoptions. Calendars can be purchased for $20 at the League to benefit shelter animals.
- Contributing on “Giving Tuesday” – You know about Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but are you aware of Giving Tuesday? Kick off the holiday season of giving by making a tax deductable donation to the shelter animals at AWLA on Tuesday, December 3. Visit http://givingtuesday.razoo.
com/story/Awla for details and to make a contribution.
Crystal City is about to get more stylish, as its fifth annual fashion event — Crystal Couture — begins tonight.
Organizers are touting “360 degrees of fashion,” highlighting the many windows on the top floor of the office building at 251 18th Street S., where the event will be held. While taking in the views, visitors can browse through discounted clothing, jewelry and accessories from more than 40 boutiques and designers.
Customers can get free makeup and hair makeovers, chat with wardrobe stylists and watch models strut styles from D.C. area boutiques on the runway. There will be music, snacks and a cash bar.
Admission is free for the event, which runs every night from tonight (February 5) through February 9, from 6:00-10:00 p.m. A full list of local celebrity hosts along with participating boutiques and designers can be found online.
Disclosure: Crystal City BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser.
The annual Crystal Couture fashion show and sale is returning to Arlington next week.
Starting on Tuesday, designers, models and fashionistas will take over the former food court at the Crystal City Shops (1750 Crystal Drive) for five days devoted to all things fashion.
Attendees can take part in trunk show sales, watch models sport the latest trends on the runway, or indulge in food and drinks while taking in music. They can also find deals of up to 50 percent off on items at some boutiques. Makeovers for hair and makeup will be available, as well.
Events run from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. each night from Feb. 7 through Feb. 11, and are free to the public. Some of the local personalities who will be hosting the events include NBC4’s Angie Goff, Hot 99.5’s Sarah Fraser, D.C. Magazine’s Karen Sommer Shalett, Pinkline Project’s Philippa Hughes, former Miss D.C. Kate Michael and former America’s Next Top Model contestant Bianca Chardei.
Organizers are promising even more shopping opportunities at this year’s five-day event, where more than 40 local designers and boutiques will be represented. A full list of participants can be found online.
Disclosure: Crystal City BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser
Here’s your chance to catch up on summer reading at a lower cost than expected. Borders’ liquidation sale is officially on.
It’s no secret that Borders filed for bankruptcy in February and then announced last week that all stores would be closing, including the one in Pentagon City. Now you can pick up books and basically anything in the remaining Borders store in our area, at 1201 S. Hayes Street in Pentagon Centre, for 10-40% off.
The sale will continue until the stores close, which is expected to be in September.
The 417-room Sheraton National Hotel has been sold to a Connecticut-based hotel investment firm.
The hotel, located just off of Columbia Pike at 900 S. Orme Street, had been owned by National Hospitality Corporation, a company linked to Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church.
HEI Hotels and Resorts purchased an ownership interest in the hotel for an undisclosed sum. The company owns 39 hotels in 16 states, including the Sheraton Crystal City.
HEI plans to keep operating the hotel as a Sheraton.
With just two days until Thanksgiving, the Optimist Club of Arlington is getting ready for its annual Christmas tree sale.
The sale will begin on Saturday, at the Wachovia Bank parking lot near the corner of North Glebe Road and Lee Highway. Prices we saw posted ranged from $30 to $210.
The Optimist Club has been selling Fraser firs, Scotch pines and other tree varieties in Arlington since 1950, according to the Sun Gazette. Proceeds from the sale will benefit the club’s youth programs.
If you celebrate the holiday, where do you go to buy your Christmas trees?
End of the Rainbow Found — During yesterday’s sunny downpour in Pentagon City, we spotted the actual end of the rainbow. Turns out it’s the shuttered Crystal City Motel on Old Jefferson Davis Highway. Bad news for anyone wanting to search for a pot of gold: you’ll first have to scale the high fence around the decaying property.
Library Book Sale This Weekend — Central Library (1015 N. Quincy St.) is holding its two-day Friends of the Library Summer Book Sale this coming Friday and Saturday. The sale will take place outside, next to the garden and the tennis courts. See the Library Blog for more info.
Crystal City Apartment Building Sold — The Hampton Apartments at 1425 South Eads Street have been sold for a cool $33.5 million to Arlington-based MRP Realty and New York City-based Angelo, Gordon & Co. This article about the sale suggests that the relatively moderately-priced apartments may be ripe for renovation, which could turn the building into “a Class A asset in one of the top D.C. submarkets.”
It’s going to be an especially busy Saturday for bargain-hunters. Here’s a chronology of where to get good deals and score some free stuff.
7:00 a.m. — The weekly Arlington Civitan flea market starts the morning bright and early. About 150 vendors will be selling their wares until 1:30 p.m. in the parking garage between I-66 and Washington-Lee High School.
8:00 a.m. — The Arlington Farmer’s Market will take place, as it does every Saturday, in the parking lot across from the county courthouse from 8:00 to noon. Affordable fresh food and free samples abound.
9:00 a.m. — Hunt for hidden gems at the Aurora Hills Senior Center Trash ‘n’ Treasure Sale. One person’s old, unwanted piece of junk may be another’s cherished antique. The Aurora Hills Branch Library will also take part, selling books and music CDs as part of their ongoing Friends Sale.
10:00 a.m. — Boutique pet store Wylie Wagg is holding a grand opening celebration for its new Clarendon store. Located in the former a.k.a. spot storefront at 2509 Franklin Road, next to the Java Shack, Wagg will be offering a 10 percent store-wide discount and a chance to win a $200 shopping spree. There will also be free doggie “smoothies” while supplies last, from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
11:00 a.m. — Clarendon’s new frozen yogurt mecca, Red Mango, will also be celebrating its grand opening on Saturday. The store (at 2831 Clarendon Boulevard) will be giving away free froyo from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. There will also be free t-shirts for the first 100 customers.
2:00 p.m. — Join the Washington Shakespeare Company for a “pay-what-you-can” showing of “Every Young Woman’s Desire.” You decide how much you want to pay to see the show, a psychological thriller that examines the brutality of unchecked power. Presented at the Clark Street Playhouse (601 S. Clark Street).
See our events calendar for more details and for more things to do this weekend.
Flickr pool photo by Pseudo-Melancholy.