The traditional black Friday traffic crush may be relieved somewhat due to a decision by many Glendale retailers to open Thanksgiving night, spreading bargain hunters over a longer time period.
With the Glendale Galleria planning to open its doors at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving, along with three of its major retailers — Macy's, Target and JCPenney — mall officials said street closures aren't necessary. Another 24 stores inside the mall also plan to open tonight.
"Due to the early openings on Thanksgiving Day, we think traffic will be much improved because the rush of shoppers will be spread out over a longer period of time," said Larry Martin, the Galleria's general manager.
Still, mall officials plan to have off-site parking for its employees as well as traffic control workers to monitor its parking structures.
Glendale police will also assist with traffic control along the downtown shopping district.
Officers plan to step up patrols near the Americana at Brand, the Galleria and other retailers through the holiday shopping season.
They will also be looking for any pedestrian and child safety seat violations, according to the Police Department. Police will look out for any potential "grab and run" thefts.
The early mall opening, Martin said, means that "shoppers have the opportunity to access and take advantage of more store promotions and door-busters."
That decision, replicated at malls and stores nationwide has created a bit of blowback. Thousands of people have signed an online pledge via Facebook to boycott retailers, such as Macy's, that open on turkey day.
The "Say No To Shopping on Thanksgiving" petition has had more than 53,000 likes.
In Burbank, Kmart plans to open its doors at 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving.