In actuality, the Saturday before Christmas is usually the biggest shopping day of the year. And with Cyber Monday and e-commerce encouraging online shopping, and Small Business Saturday encouraging shoppers to support local businesses, Black Friday may be losing its luster.
We wanted to check with those who are actually heading out to the malls and shopping centers today: how big are the crowds?
Alternatively, if you had to head into work today instead of shopping — like us — there’s an option for you.
There are only a couple of days left to finalize Black Friday shopping plans, so it’s time to take stock of what’s open and when.
The biggest mall in Arlington, the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, has announced its holiday hours and specials for holiday shoppers. The mall’s hours for this weekend are:
- Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 26 — 6 p.m. – Midnight
- Black Friday, Nov. 27 — 6 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.
- Saturday, Nov. 28 — 9 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.
- Sunday, Nov. 29 — 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
On Friday, the first 100 shoppers who check in at Guest Services at the mall will receive a “Holiday Shopping Survival Kit.” The kit will include water, mints, snacks and store promotions.
Additional sales, deals and promotions will continue to be posted on the mall’s Facebook page.
The eighth annual Wags N’ Whiskers event will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will feature more than 60 exhibitions, ranging from pet supplies to onsite adoptions.
In addition to shopping for food, treats, toys and other pet goods, owners can get their pets’ portrait taken for $5. There will also be strolling entertainment and kids activities, including face painting and balloon art. Visitors are encouraged to bring their pets with them.
The Arlington County Police Department will close Campbell Avenue and S. Randolph Street from 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. for the event. Campbell Avenue will be closed from S. Quincy Street to the parking garage in front of the Harris Teeter (4250 Campbell Avenue). S. Randolph Street will be closed from Arlington Mill Drive to the alley just south of Campbell Avenue. Street parking will also be limited.
Virginians are getting a break from the sales tax this weekend courtesy of Virginia’s General Assembly, which combined three existing sales tax holidays into one longer Tax-Free Weekend this year, according to the Virginia Department of Taxation.
According to the department, items exempt from the sales tax this weekend include school supplies, clothing and footwear, emergency preparedness items and some energy-efficient home appliances with either the Energy Star or WaterSense label.
Included in the list of exemptions are back-to-school staples like backpacks, calculators, flash drives and composition notebooks, as well as a variety of sports and recreational equipment.
For items that do not qualify for the sales tax exemption, store owners may still offer them as tax-free by choosing to have the store absorb the cost of the sales tax on behalf of the consumer.
Photo via pixabay.com
Williamsburg Zumba Studio Featured on ‘GMA’ — FITLoose Health and Fitness in the Williamsburg neighborhood was featured on ABC’s Good Morning America. The segment highlighted the studio’s Zumbini classes — a variation of Zumba for children 0-3 years old and their parents. [Yahoo! News]
Hybrid Tax Repeal Passes — Legislation to repeal Virginia’s $64 annual tax on hybrid vehicles has passed both houses of the General Assembly. Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) says he will sign the bill, which was introduced in the state Senate by Sen. Adam Ebbin (D). [Virginian-Pilot]
Herring Announces Run for Moran’s Seat — Virginia Democratic Party Chair Charneile Herring is stepping down to run for the Congressional seat of the retiring Rep. Jim Moran (D). Herring, who has represented Alexandria in the House of Delegates, is considered a party “rising star,” and was Virginia’s first African-American Democratic party chair. [NBC Washington]
Arlington’s Shopping Scene Profiled — “Shopping in Arlington is always a bit of an adventure,” writes the Washington Post’s Jura Koncius. “As you dodge auto body shops, towering corporate headquarters, tanning parlors and trendy eateries, you’ll discover stores that stock just about everything you need for your home. But you might find yourself lost in the process. Hop over a bridge from the city and you’ll roll through slick shopping centers punctuated by shops nestled in funky farmhouses that represent the disappearing Arlington of old.” [Washington Post]
Eads Street Was a Former Canal — Crystal City residents might not realize it, but most of S. Eads Street, a main thoroughfare, used to be a canal. The street was built above the old Alexandria Canal, which connected Alexandria to Georgetown by way of an aqueduct bridge.
The top 8 retail centers in Arlington, including the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City and Ballston Common Mall, alone house 644 stores. Arlington retailers recorded a total of $3.27 billion worth of taxable sales in 2012.
The holidays are obviously a crucial time for retailers, providing on outsized portion of annual sales and profit. But with retail sales growth sluggish compared to the growth in online sales, and with the large regional malls in Tysons Corner and outlet stores elsewhere continuing to lure shoppers, the holidays could be a struggle for some local stores.
Rosslyn Holiday Market Open Today — The Rosslyn Business Improvement District will be hosting a “pop-up” holiday market today from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. at 1500 Wilson Blvd. The market will feature boutique shopping, gift wrapping as well as snacks, sweets, cigar and spirits tasting and massages. Disclosure: As you can tell by the temporary site background, this event is being advertised on ARLnow.com.
New ‘Aerial Yoga’ Studio Opens — Spark Yoga, an “aerial yoga” studio, has opened at 2201 N. Pershing Drive in Lyon Park. [Washingtonian]
Woman, Friends Arrested in Towing Dispute — Updated at 9:20 a.m. — A woman and her two friends were arrested Tuesday night after a dispute over towing. The woman tried to block her car from being towed from a parking lot and called police. When police arrived, the officer tried to remove her from her vehicle, and she allegedly fought back. Police say her friends also physically confronted the officer. The woman and one friend were charged with obstruction of justice and the the other friend was charged with assault and battery of a policy officer. [Patch]
Flickr pool photo by Christaki
Yes, another Black Friday is here, complete with the massive pile of circulars in the newspaper and the requisite TV news images of shoppers rampaging through big box stores at midnight.
Of course, Black Friday is no longer the only post-Thanksgiving shopping game in town. Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday have joined the ranks as industry-created shopping holidays.
No Metro Work This Weekend — In an occurrence that’s somewhat rare these days, there is no Metro rebuilding work planned on the Blue, Orange or Yellow Lines this weekend. [WMATA]
New Rosslyn Cafe to Open Monday — Caffe Aficionado, a new independent coffee shop at 1919 N. Lynn Street in Rosslyn, is scheduled to officially open on Monday, according to owner Adiam Berhane. The cafe is also holding events for neighbors today and Saturday.
Chamber Joins Small Biz Shopping Initiative — The Arlington Chamber of Commerce has partnered with the organizers of Arlington Small Business Day. The Chamber will help promote the holiday shopping day, which debuted last year and is scheduled for Nov. 30. [Sun Gazette]
Flickr pool photo by Ddimick
On Thursday, Sept. 12, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., the mall will offer several activities geared toward women, including makeovers and food tastings. The event is free and attendees are encouraged to bring friends “to relax, unwind, socialize, shop be pampered and get reacquainted.”
Among the activities offered at the event are makeup tutorials and advice from professionals; food samplings; special one-night-only deals from retailers; a swag bag with free samples and coupons for the first 100 registrants; two raffles at 7:00 and 8:00 p.m., with prizes including $500 in mall gift cards.
The event is co-sponsored by Diet Coke and the British Virgin Islands.
The owner of Pentagon Row announced this morning that major renovations to the shopping center’s plaza are now underway.
The renovations, approved by the Arlington County Board last March, will include an expanded ice rink during the winter, a turf lawn during the summer, revamped outdoor dining areas, 1,500 square feet of new retail and dining space, lighted water fountains and a stone fire pit.
Work on the project began on Monday and is expected to run through November, wrapping up in time for the grand reopening of the ice rink. Other parts of the plaza will reopen starting late this summer, according to a rep for Pentagon Row owner Federal Realty Investment Trust.
“The plaza was thoughtfully redesigned to cater to the lifestyle of the Arlington community and customer to create a year-round experience,” FRIT said in a press release, below.
This year’s Rock the Row outdoor concert series will still be held despite the construction, according to spokeswoman Molly Hippolitus, and Pentagon Row stores will remain open.
Federal Realty Investment Trust announces today that the Pentagon Row plaza will undergo a major renovation, which will include an expanded ice rink, enhanced outdoor dining areas, added retail space, and improved public gathering places with an expansive turf feature, new water fountains, and new stone fire pit. Construction began April 1, 2013 and the new plaza will be completed and opened to the public in phases beginning late summer 2013. The final project will be complete by November 2013 in time for the ice rink grand re-opening celebration.
The plaza was thoughtfully redesigned to cater to the lifestyle of the Arlington community and customer to create a year-round experience. The addition of an expansive, functional turf feature will host gatherings in warm weather and events such as the 2014 Rock at the Row Summer Concert Series, and an expanded ice rink will be available in the winter months. The additional 1,500 square feet of retail and dining space will energize the plaza core and feature a defined café dining area. The addition of an interactive water feature and stone fire pit will provide year-round amenities for visitors to enjoy.
“Federal Realty Investment Trust’s investment in the project reflects our commitment to creating public spaces for the community to gather and enjoy public events,” says Robin McBride, Vice President – Mid Atlantic Region COO, Federal Realty Investment Trust. Adding, “We are thrilled to continue our commitment to improving Pentagon Row with this major plaza renovation which will create a true 12-month experience for the community.”
Pentagon Row retailers and restaurants will remain open during construction.
Renderings courtesy Federal Realty Investment Trust
Now that Christmas has come and gone, and all the presents have been unwrapped, another holiday tradition is upon us: the rush back to stores to return unwanted or ill-fitting gifts.
The week after Christmas is traditionally a busy one for retailers as they start to take returns (and as shoppers who received gift cards start to cash them in).
Will you be making returns this week?
As mentioned in our Morning Poll, your shopping days before Christmas are dwindling.
Maybe you need some help scrambling to pick up those last minute presents. If so, never fear, because Santa has apparently set up a mailbox on a utility pole in North Arlington, near George Mason Drive and 26th St. N.
We’re not sure how often elves are collecting the letters, but we’re told neighborhood children have been frequenting the mailbox.
Forget the weekend after Thanksgiving, this weekend — the last weekend before Christmas — may be one of the busiest shopping times of the year. Last-minute gift buyers are expected to flock to stores on Saturday and Sunday, in advance of two consecutive holiday weekends.
Adding to the shopping crush: Hanukkah starts relatively late this year, on Dec. 20.
Will you be joining the masses at the malls and shopping centers this weekend?
In addition to being able to peruse hard copies of the magazine at branches throughout the county, the library is offering online access. Readers can compare the items reviewed in recent issues of the magazine, as well sift through the archives from the past four years.
Users need to enter their Arlington library card number and PIN code after clicking on the link to access Consumer Reports.