VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - South Georgia shopping centers, including the Valdosta Mall, were preparing for crowds of Black Friday shoppers Wednesday.
There were no ridiculously long lines or massive crowds of people inside the Valdosta Mall Wednesday, but that could change as the mall will open its doors at 6 p.m. Thanksgiving night.
"The mall management and our retailers have been preparing for months to get ready for this day," said the mall's General Manager Tim Nolan. Nolan said this is the first time the mall has been open from 6 p.m. Thursday night to 12 a.m. Friday morning, but he assured shoppers that the mall is prepared.
"Many of our retailers will open at 5 [p.m.]. Some of the retailers will stay open all night long, so the mall will be prepared and cleaning and securing all night long," emphasized Nolan.
Valdosta Police will also have extra officers on patrol around the mall, beginning as soon as the doors open. "When we say extra patrols, we're talking' about extra officers on the road patrolling' the area of the mall," said Valdosta Police Department Commander Bernard Robinson.
Aside from the uniformed officers who will be patrolling the mall, many of the stores will also have off duty police officers on patrol. "Because of black Friday, because of the New Year," said Robinson, "they feel like they need extra security, and of course they will hire off duty officers."
Nolan also reminded shoppers that they can call the mall's security office at 229-560-5237 for any issues related to security or safety. There haven't been any major security issues at the mall during Black Friday shopping in the past, and both VPD and general manager Tim Nolan said they would work as hard as they could to make sure that trend continues this year.