Woodburn, and in particular Woodburn Premium Outlets, braces for influx of shoppers

FILE PHOTO - Shoppers line up outside the Coach Factory store at Woodburn Premium Outlets. The mall of nearly 200 stores will open at 6 p.m. Thanksgiving Day and remain open through the night, a precursor to Black Friday.Destination, Woodburn!

That's a motto for many this time of year, as Thanksgiving ushers in Black Friday right on its heels.

The "Friday" piece of the moniker has actually assumed a prolonged lease of late as the annual event has, necessarily, taken on extra hours, officially kicking off at 6 p.m. Thanksgiving Day at the Woodburn Premium Outlets.

It also extends into the weekend to Small Business Saturday. Woodburn City Council acknowledged it during its most recent meeting.

"Thanksgiving is coming up, so is Black Friday; beware if you are heading out to the interchange on Thursday or Friday of next week," Woodburn Mayor Kathy Figley said during the Nov. 13 City Council meeting. "That means the next day is Small Business Saturday."

The city issued a proclamation recognizing small businesses during the meeting and declaring November, 2018, as small business month. Figley said the city celebrates small businesses and the contributions they make to the local economy.

Small businesses in the U.S. employ more than 58.9 million people, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. Surveys show that 33 percent of holiday shopping will take place at small, independently owned businesses.

Woodburn Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Stuart Rodgers also addressed the council on behalf of small businesses.

"I want to echo in the spirit of the invitation to get out and support our small businesses later this month," Rodgers said. "It's really kind of a month-long thing throughout the nation."

Woodburn joined thousands of chambers nationally that support the "Shop Small" campaign.

The city also rolls out the mats for shoppers of all ilks, as Woodburn's outlet stores see a spike in visitors, beginning on Thanksgiving Day when the mall opens at 6 p.m.

"Having our center open at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving allows shoppers better access to all of the great holiday deals here," said Sarajane Cottle, general manager of Woodburn Premium Outlets. "Many of our stores will have great deals on Thursday, Friday and the whole weekend."

Cottle said the Black Friday extension in recent years was as much about accommodation as anything else.

"We anticipate that traffic this holiday season will be up as it has been for us the entire year," Cottle said. "Woodburn Premium Outlets has a great location next to the freeway, which makes us a convenient stop for families traveling up to Portland or down south. In addition, we are the perfect destination for customers looking to take advantage of great deals with tax free shopping."

Cottle said mall stores beef up staff during the holiday season to meet the demand.

"This is always an exciting time of year for Simon Malls," Cottle said. "Our malls are the pre-eminent holiday shopping destinations, and we're happy to share our comfortable, climate-controlled and inviting atmosphere with our shoppers to take advantage of extended festive holiday hours, and great holiday deals."

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