Students prepare for Black Friday at the outlets

Constunce Brantley

Black Friday can be students’ bank accounts’ savior when shopping for holiday gifts, but it can also be a time of stress and anxiety for the large number of college students working in retail.

The Tanger and Premium Outlets of San Marcos are known for their wide variety of stores with discounted clothing and high volume of student workers. With the holidays approaching, the sales and crowds are going to be better and larger.

Working in retail during the holidays as a college student can be stressful. Balancing work, school and a social life can put a strain on time, especially when employers demand longer and more frequent hours to compensate the larger crowds.

Keyonte Simmons, political science sophomore,started working at PacSun in October and said this will be his first Black Friday at the outlets. Keyonte is working from 5-11 p.m. on Friday night.

“I don’t believe in working the holidays,” Simmons said.

On a regular day, PacSun will schedule two workers per shift, but for the anticipated Black Friday crowds they have bumped it up to ten workers per shift. PacSun will be open for 24 hours starting Thanksgiving morning until Black Friday at 11 p.m.

PacSun has held meetings to make sure it is prepared for this year’s Black Friday. All workers have been trained to work all areas of the store such as cashier, working on floor sets and making sure the fittings rooms are up to par.

The workers have been told to continuously check on customers and make sure the lines do not become too long. These precautions are not only to keep things running smoothly, but to prevent theft.

Other retail stores at the outlets are following similar hours and protocols in preparation for their busiest day of the year.

As a college student, it is hard to work Black Friday because the majority would rather spend time with their families.

April Anderson, microbiology junior and manager at Dress Barn, said that she does not want to work on the holidays. Anderson said she was fortunate to be one of the few managers chosen not to work the holiday hours.

Dress Barn requires all managers and about ten workers to be present. Dress Barn will be closed on Thanksgiving Day and open from 12 a.m. to 12 a.m. the next morning.

Dress Barn is having most of its deals online. Employees are still taking precautions in the store, but this way it is not as busy. Dress Barn wants more people to shop online instead of coming into the store.

“Shopping online is easier, and you do not have to worry about parking,” Anderson said.

Dress Barn is treating Black Friday as a normal day, but with a lot more people. Black Friday is going to be stressful, but with the online deals, it should not be as bad for the store.

Both employees and employers want to enjoy the holidays. Jordyn Palacios, store manager at Journeys Kidz, must be in the store all day.

“It is going to be pretty busy I assume, but this is my first Black Friday ever,” Palacios said.

Usually, there’s only a manager, a co-manager, or a regular worker. But during Black Friday, there will be about 10 workers. If anyone does not show up for their shift they will be written up.

Palacios must be present, and her co-manager must be there from 6:00 p.m. Thanksgiving Day until 11:00 p.m. Black Friday and Saturday. But while there, Palacios is making the most of it.

“I’m bringing my PlayStation 4, a TV, snacks and drinks so that we can at least have fun while we’re here,” Palacios said.

The company will be delivering its workers two boxes of Monster energy drinks to help. The workers will be scheduled for five to nine hours.

To prepare for this, Journeys had a “boot camp” last week. There, employees learned how busy the store will be, what to expect, customer service and how to avoid problems.

Everyone wants to be home for the holidays, and it’s hard when everyone also wants to make money. This year’s Black Friday is going to be crazy at the Outlets and stores are ready.

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