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Ohio Valley Mall Adjusts to Help Keep Shoppers Safe

Photo by Scott McCloskey In this November 2019 photo, shoppers at the Ohio Valley Mall go searching for holiday purchases. The mall will adjust hours of operation, its schedule for sales at various stores and how children can interact with Santa Claus in light of the COVID-19 pande

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — The Ohio Valley Mall’s annual holiday events will change slightly this season in response to the coronavirus pandemic, but many will remain intact with added safety measures in place.

Although some of the mall’s holiday hours will differ from in previous years, many of the planned events will continue. Joe Bell, spokesman for the mall’s parent Cafaro Co., said the mall has released its holiday hours for the season after careful consideration.

“We took an almost scientific approach to looking when there was a demand, when the crowds were light. We wanted to balance the demand and need to be able serve people with extended hours with the needs of our merchants. … We’ve pared back some of the hours this year,” he said.

Bell said the mall wanted to meet the needs and desires of customers and the mall’s tenants while also continuing the traditions, festivity and joy of the holiday season.

The mall will be closed on Thanksgiving, Nov. 26, but will still open early for Black Friday shoppers. However, there won’t be a lot of doorbuster specials, Bell said.

“We don’t want to bring huge crowds of people, shoulder-to-shoulder, this year. So what we’ll be doing, and a lot of retailers in America are doing right now, is spreading out all those special deals over the entire season,” he said.

Bell said many retailers are staggering their annual sales as opposed to holding them on a single day. Some sales are already underway and will continue through the rest of the year, he said.

The Black Friday shopping day will be from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m. Nov. 27.

“That’s just to make sure those folks who do like to shop early will be accommodated,” he said.

The mall also will reward shoppers this year with a new promotion. Beginning Nov. 23 through Dec. 20, shoppers who purchase $250 worth of merchandise, in any combinations of mall stores, will receive a free gift.

“They (customers) can take their receipts over to the customer service center and they’ll receive a gift. They’re nice gifts, they’re holiday gifts and it’ll change every week. We think it’s just a little something to add a little value to the shopping experience that they’ll be doing,” he said.

The mall also will hold a “Super Saturday” event, the last Saturday before Christmas, on Dec. 19. Bell said the day has become one of the busiest shopping days of the year. This year, the day will be a community event in which shoppers can enjoy live entertainment and promotions, he said. Bell said the mall is currently searching for entertainers to perform during the event.

“Anyone who is an entertainer who likes to sing or play, we’re going to welcome them in and perform at the mall. We hope to feature them on ‘Super Saturday’ and perhaps throughout the season,” he said. “It should be a festive affair.”

Those interested may contact the mall. Additional information will be released in the near future, he said.

Additionally, Santa will make his annual appearance for “Pictures with Santa” beginning at 11 a.m. Nov. 21. through Dec. 24. Bell said there will be “Safe-Friendly Santa Booths” in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“It’s an acrylic divider that provides a barrier between the little ones and Santa. They’ll be able to sit close to him, but a barrier will be in between them and is sanitized between every use,” he said.

The event also will offer appointments for those who don’t wish to wait in line. Appointments can be made through the mall’s website or at the photograph booth.

Bell said the first 100 families to receive a photograph with Santa will get one free 5–7 photo along with cookies and hot cocoa.

The list of the mall’s holiday hours includes:

∫ Nov. 26 (Thanksgiving)


∫ Nov. 27 (Black Friday)

6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

∫ Nov. 28: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

∫ Nov. 29: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

∫ Nov. 30: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

∫ Dec. 1-5: 10 a.m. to

9 p.m.

∫ Dec. 6: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

∫ Dec. 7-12: 10 a.m. to

9 p.m.

∫ Dec. 13: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

∫ Dec. 14: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

∫ Dec. 15-18: 10 a.m. to

10 p.m.

∫ Dec. 19 (Super Saturday)

10 a.m. to midnight

∫ Dec. 20: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

∫ Dec. 21-23: 9 a.m. to

10 p.m.

∫ Dec. 24 (Christmas Eve)

9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

∫ Dec. 25 (Christmas Day)


∫ Dec. 26: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

∫ Dec. 27: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

∫ Dec. 28-30: 10 a.m. to

9 p.m.

∫ Dec. 31 (New Year’s Eve)

10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

∫ Jan. 1 (New Year’s Day)

10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

All of the mall’s retailers will participate in the holiday hours, Bell said.

Throughout the holiday season, the mall will continue to follow the recommended health protocols to ensure a safe environment for the mall’s staff and customers.


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