The COVID pandemic caused drastic changes to the holiday shopping season in 2020.
To reduce crowd sizes, retailers were less aggressive about extending store hours. So that meant big box stores and shopping malls didn’t open on Thanksgiving or have Black Friday doorbuster sales. Instead, the big sales went on for weeks online instead of a for a few hours in a store.
Many shoppers wanted to avoid crowds and stores were forced to reduce the number of customers who could be inside at one time. That made online shopping more popular than ever. For people who still wanted to venture out to get gifts, retailers expanded contactless curbside pickup services.
Vaccines have caused the number of COVID cases to drastically drop, so local government and retailers have eased capacity and masking mandates. But this holiday season, stores are keeping the changes they put in place last year.
Customers liked how deals were spread across the month of November, with multiple events offering savings. This gave shoppers more options on when and how they shop.
Here are the Black Friday hours for shopping centers and malls across the region.
Mall of Louisiana, 6401 Bluebonnet Blvd., Baton Rouge
Once again, the regional mall will remain closed on Thanksgiving. It will open at 9 a.m. on Black Friday and close at 9 p.m. that day, but anchor stores have their own holiday hours.
Tanger Outlets, 2100 S. Tanger Blvd., Gonzales.
Tanger Outlets will also be closed on Thanksgiving. The outlet mall will open at 6 a.m. Black Friday and close at 9 p.m.
Perkins Rowe (Baton Rouge), Town Center at Cedar Lodge (Baton Rouge) and Juban Crossing (Denham Springs) are popular shopping destinations as well. The individual retailers at the centers set their own hours for Black Friday.
Walmart began rolling out Black Friday deals Nov. 3. The last round of deals starts online Monday at 6 p.m., although Walmart+ members can get savings starting four hours earlier. Once again stores will be closed on Thanksgiving. On Black Friday, stores will open at 5 a.m.
Best Buy 5913 Bluebonnet Blvd. and 1977 Millerville Road, Baton Rouge
Best Buy is doing Black Friday deals all season and will offer one-hour curbside pickup. Stores will be closed Thanksgiving but you can place orders online. Most stores open at 5 a.m. on Black Friday.
Target 6885 Siegen Lane and 2001 Millerville Road, Baton Rouge
Target stores will be closed on Thanksgiving and will open at 7 a.m. on Black Friday.
Target started its Black Friday deals in early November.