Valley malls prep for rush of holiday shoppers

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NILES, Ohio (WKBN) – Now that the holiday shopping season is well underway, local stores and malls are beefing up security in preparation for more foot traffic from now until Christmas.

During the next four weeks, Eastwood Mall employees expect hundreds of thousands of shoppers to walk through their doors.

“That’s an awful lot of folks, and they have a lot of concerns and they have packages,” Cafaro Company Spokesman Joe Cafaro said. “There’s extra traffic and you have to make an allowance for that.”

In the weekend following Black Friday alone, more than 45,000 people will be at the mall. That’s why they’ve already started beefing up security.

“There’s extra staffing that goes on,” Bell said. “Our security officers work extra hours, there are officers on duty. In addition to that, electronic surveillance and other types of security that you do not see.”

One important tip is to be aware of what’s going on around you.

“You got to pay attention to your surroundings, you know, make sure everything’s alright and safe,” shopper James Gosnell said.

“If you’re going to a mall or you’re going to a store, know where the exit’s at,” Trumbull County Sheriff Thomas Altiere said. “I mean, it doesn’t have to be a front exit. There’s a back exit, there’s emergency exits.”

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