Local malls and stores offering additional options for Black Friday amid COVID-19


HONOLULU (KHON2) — People are usually off to stand in lines for Black Friday after a hefty Thanksgiving meal. This year it will be a little different. Now stores and malls are giving people more options to buy their items, and more time to get the deals.

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A lot of stores kept their doors closed on Thanksgiving and are officially kicking off holiday sales on Black Friday this year.

Ala Moana Center and Pearlridge Center say some stores will have a virtual line queue. In the virtual queue, people just give the store their name and contact information, and the store will contact them when it is their turn to walk in.

Both malls also have a curbside pick-up service available for certain stores.

Ala Moana’s curbside pickup stalls are located in the Ewa Wing, adjacent to Territorial Savings. They are also doing a program called “Store to Door Hawaii”, where people can order, and the item will be packaged and delivered the same day.

At Pearlridge, their service is called “Retail to Go” and there are four pickup locations around parking areas. Two pickup locations are at the Wai Makai location in front of Aloha Salads and the theater entrance. There are also two pickup areas at the Mauka location, at the third floor parking lot by Macy’s and ground floor parking lot by Goma Tei.

Some stores are even extending their deals past Black Friday this year.

“So for example, at HIC (Hawaiian Island Creations), their Black Friday sale will start on Friday, but they’ll extend it for eight days, and it’s 25% off of the entire store, whereas previous years, it was just a one-day sale,” said Diana Su, Pearlridge spokesperson.

Su said Pearlridge shops have prepared ahead of time for Black Friday crowds. There are markings and signs throughout Pearlridge to remind people of social distancing and to wear a mask. She said there will also be additional associates on Black Friday to help guide those in line.

She said they are making sure state and federal regulations are followed.

“We are beefing up our security team, making sure that they’re constantly patrolling within the mall as well as the exterior of our shopping center, of Pearlridge Center, making sure that people are bringing their masks, because it is mandatory,” said Su.

For some smaller stores, people may also have to check how many people are allowed in. At Pineapples Boutique in Ko Olina, they are limiting the number of people inside to four.

“If they are you know like a grandmother, mom and a daughter type of thing, one or two will wait, and just so everyone gets a turn and people have been really respectful of that,” said Leah Maio, Pineapples Boutique staff member.

Tina Yamaki, President of the Retail Merchants of Hawaii, said there may be longer lines due to COVID rules so she is asking people to be patient.

“Just to shop with Aloha and patience, you know, it is going to take a little longer because we are limited to the amount of people that we can have in the store. There’s social distancing so you have to stand farther apart in line. We ask everybody to wear their mass properly over their nose and mouth. It’s for the safety of other customers and our employees.”

Tina Yamaki, Retail Merchants of Hawaii President

Sales this holiday season will be one of the most important for the year, she said.

“For a lot of local retailers, and even for some national retailers, this is going to be do or die, you know, make it or break it,” said Yamaki. “If they don’t make a certain amount of money they probably will not be open (for) the rest of the year.”

Pineapples Boutique chose to stay open on Thanksgiving and throughout Black Friday. They are offering a buy one, get one half-off sale. For those who don’t want to shop in person, they can also shop on Pineapples Boutique’s website.

“You have to stay open so people can come, get out of the house and walk around,” said Maio. “The more we can stay open, the better it is for our business.”

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