It’s Shoppers Mall’s answer to the United States’ Black Friday.
Holiday Magic, billed as a charitable night of shopping, will invade Shoppers Mall on Nov. 24 for three hours — from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. — offering some of the best deals on merchandise in Brandon ever.
“It’s going to be a great night to kick off Christmas shopping,” mall general manager Kim James said. “We planned it purposely on the Black Friday weekend so it gives people a reason to stay in Brandon and shop rather than go south and shop.”
Black Friday, a one-day bonanza following American Thanksgiving, offers blowout prices on a variety of retail merchandise. Something that will be consistent in Brandon, as James said all the businesses in the mall have bought into the concept to ensure customers get anywhere from 30 to 50 per cent off items.
“The stores have really jumped on board and are providing fabulous discounts for those three hours only,” James said.
But to get into the mall that night, patrons will need a $5 ticket, that can be purchased from any number of 30 charities in the city.
“The best part is 100 per cent of the proceeds of the ticket sales is going to the charities,” James said.
And the madness doesn’t end with the bargains as more than 50 prizes will be given away to ticket holders — prizes that include a theme park getaway, overnight hockey package and two $500 gift cards.
“It’s going to be lots of fun with a lot of great bargains for people,” James said.
Holiday Magic will also feature jolly old Saint Nick, three pamper stations where shoppers can take advantage of massages and makeovers, as well as a variety of entertainers including magicians and carollers.
While the event is a great way to begin the holiday shopping, it’s also a method being used to combat changes to personal exemptions on merchandise purchased in the United States by the federal government.
Brandon Chamber of Commerce president Nate Andrews said he supports any idea that ensures dollars are being spent at a local level.
“The numbers speak for themselves and there are many studies that show about 60 to 65 cents of every dollar spent locally stays locally,” Andrews said. “We know, obviously if that money doesn’t get spent here then it is zero.”
During this busy shopping season, Andrews said the chamber does its best to educate people about the spinoff effects shopping locally has on the community.
“At the local level, the backbone of supporting local groups — be it minor hockey teams, sports teams or other organizations — is the small business guy,” Andrews said. “That can’t happen unless people spend money in your community and for us it is important to make sure people understand that because it contributes to a healthy community and economy.”
He’s also not happy that Canadians can now declare $800 worth of goods — up from $400 — on trips to the U.S. for two to seven days; and $200 worth of goods — up from $50 — on overnight trips south of the border.
“It makes it more advantageous for people that want to spend their money elsewhere and for us there is no benefit to bumping (the exemption levels) up,” Andrews said. “It’s not good for the economy.”