Thursday may be the new Black Friday when it comes to Thanksgiving time shopping, but the county's two main malls will buck the trend.
Del Monte Shopping Center in Monterey and Northridge Mall in Salinas will not open Thanksgiving day. Instead, they will usher in Black Friday at midnight.
"We like to leave that for our employees' family time," Northridge Mall Marketing Director Tamera Swanson said of Thanksgiving. "For their friends and family to enjoy the holiday."
Jill Vivanco, general manager of Del Monte Shopping Center, also said the day should be reserved for Thanksgiving.
Yet, shoppers may not wait for malls to open.
Because smartphones and tablets have made shopping online easier, the pressure is on brick-and-mortar retailers to get shoppers into stores.
Online sales in November and December are expected to rise 17percent, according to research firm comScore.
"Retailers have to do a little more to grow sales this year," said Frank Badillo, a senior economist at consultancy Kantar Retail.
Some Walmart, Macy's, Sears and other chain department stores are opening Thanksgiving evening in order to make shopping as convenient as possible.
They might avoid Black Friday's drift to Thanksgiving, but Del Monte Shopping Center and Northridge Mall are still taking advantage of "midnight madness."
Northridge is aggressively targeting shoppers at its midnight opening with raffles, live music and surprise giveaways.
More than 100 stores in Northridge will open at midnight.
The raffle, from 1 to 5 a.m., will feature $1,000 in prizes, including a $350 diamond bracelet, Swanson said. She said there will be 2,000 free raffle tickets given out.
This is the second year the mall has opened at midnight as Black Friday starts. She said it just made sense to open then because shoppers are already out.
Toys "R" Us is the exception at Northridge. Because of a corporate mandate, the store will open at 8 p.m. Thanksgiving.
Swanson said it will not affect their plan to open at midnight because the toy store has a separate entrance.
A manager at the store declined to speak to a Herald reporter and directed him to a corporate number, which did not return a call for comment.
At Del Monte Shopping Center, Victoria's Secret, Forever 21 and Macy's will open at midnight and stay open through the night, Vivanco said.
Victoria's Secret will offer gift bags to customers who spend $65 or more, according to cash register supervisor Kayla Dobbins.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Phillip Molnar can be reached at email@example.com or 646-4487.