Make us your home page
Instagram

Stores, malls take break on Christmas Day, reboot with early hours on Dec. 26

While many people wolfed down turkey dinners to head to the stores on Thanksgiving this year, that won't be the case on Christmas Day.

Stores are keeping with tradition and staying closed. At some point, people do trump profits.

Rest assured, the spending hiatus won't last long. Stores and malls will reboot the registers first thing Dec. 26 with enticing post-holiday sales.

The day after Christmas is one of the busiest days of the year for many retailers, with shoppers rushing in to redeem gift cards and exchange those slippers they said they loved a day ago but really can't stand.

A few early birds will open at 7 a.m. Dec. 26: Tyrone Square Mall in St. Petersburg, Westfield Brandon and Ellenton Premium Outlets. International Plaza in Tampa will match its longest hours of the holiday season, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. That's the same as Black Friday and the only days except Dec. 24 for such an early start.

Other malls hours for Dec. 26: Shops at Wiregrass in Wesley Chapel, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; University Mall in Tampa, 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Westfield Citrus Park, Westfield Countryside and WestShore Plaza, all 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

If you need a last-second gift, most Walgreens and CVS stores will be open, as will 7-Eleven and Starbucks, at least until midday. Pick up a gift card, and your friends and family will never know you forgot about them until Christmas Day.

I generally say no when doughnuts come within grabbing distance, which seems quite often. But I recently made an exception for Nicola's Donuts.

The 30-year-old shop in Tampa has some of the tastiest dough rings around and was voted "One of America's Best Donuts" by Travel + Leisure magazine in 2010. When Gov. Rick Scott wanted to be chief doughnut maker for a day, he picked Nicola's.

The shop has two locations, one at 902 W Busch Blvd. that sells mostly doughnuts and a newer one at 14390 N Dale Mabry Highway that also does cupcakes and pastries. Sisters Rachel Waatti and Michele Kaw took over the business about two years ago, embracing the legion of loyal customers who grew up on Nicola's glazed, candied and powdered treats.

Regulars of the Busch store know to come early. Hours are 5:30 a.m. to noon or until they sell out, which occasionally happens and no doubt has ruined a person's morning.

Waatti says their doughnuts are worth a trip past the big chains. For starters, they are bigger and come in surprising varieties, from s'mores to Oreo to PB&J. They use Madagascar bourbon vanilla and European chocolate, but no preservatives or artificial flavors. In a world that needs more sweet, they go heavy on the sprinkles.

In honor of its 30th anniversary, Nicola's is having a Facebook contest to create the 2013 Cupcake of the Year using a playoff bracket-style voting system. During the first round, which ends today, fans pick their favorite cake flavor. The second round will decide the frosting, and the final round the topping. The winning cupcake will be announced Jan. 1 and served free all year long with every purchase of a dozen cupcakes.

Red velvet with pink vanilla buttercream and rainbow sprinkles sounds fabulous to me.

If you got caught in a long line at the post office on Monday, here's why: The U.S. Postal Service expected to handle 658 million cards and packages, more than any day of the year. Friday is the last day to send an item priority mail to arrive by Christmas, but that's cutting it close, depending on how far it has to travel.

Susan Thurston can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 225-3110.

Stores, malls take break on Christmas Day, reboot with early hours on Dec. 26 12/17/12 [Last modified: Monday, December 17, 2012 11:41pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Shares in Tampa's Health Insurance Innovations rebound from stronger earnings report

    Corporate

    TAMPA — After a sharp drop in its stock price in August and September, Health Insurance Innovations on Monday announced strong revenue and net income gains in preliminary numbers for its third quarter of the year. The company also announced a $50 million stock buyback over the next two years meant to bolster its …

    After losing more than half its market value between August and September, shares in Tampa's Health Insurance Innovations are rebounding."The new share repurchase program underscores our confidence in our business strategy, financial performance, and the long-term prospects of our company while also allowing us the financial flexibility to continue to invest in our business," company CEO Gavin Southwell announced Monday. [Courtesy of LinkedIn]
  2. Trigaux: Campaign aims to leverage tourism ads to recruit millennials, businesses

    Economic Development

    TAMPA — Tampa Bay's unleashing one of its best weapons — a cadre of successful entrepreneurs and young business leaders — in a marketing campaign already under way but officially …

    Erin Meagher, founder of Tampa coconut oil products company Beneficial Blends, is part of a group of business savvy millennial entrepreneurs and managers who are helping to pitch the work-live-play merits of the Tampa Bay market in a new marketing campaign called Make It Tampa Bay. The campaign is backed by Visit Tampa Bay and the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp. and aimed at recruiting more millennial talent to relocate and stay in the Tampa Bay area. [Courtesy Tampa Hillsborough EDC, Visit Tampa Bay]
  3. Florida gas prices drop 25 cents on average over past month

    Autos

    Gas prices are on a downward tear post-hurricane. Tampa Bay fell to $2.34 per gallon on Sunday, down 10 cents over the week, according to AAA, The Auto Club Group. Across the state, gas fell 7 cents over the same period to average $2.47 per gallon.

    Gas prices across the state fell 25 cents over 31 days. | [Times file photo]
  4. Entrepreneur expands interests with Twisted Crafts

    Business

    SOUTH TAMPA — Playgrounds of Tampa owner Mike Addabbo is expanding into the do-it-yourself industry with his new endeavor: Twisted Crafts.

     Jennifer and Michael Addabbo pose in their latest entrepreneurial enterprise: Twisted Crafts. Photo courtesy of Twisted Craft.
  5. Amazing Lash franchise expands to South Tampa

    Business

    SOUTH TAMPA — Jeff Tolrud opened the doors to his third Amazing Lash Studio franchise earlier this month, this time in South Tampa.

    When customers walk in, the studios have the same look and feel throughout the country, operator Jeff Tolrud said of Amazing Lash Studio. Tolrud opened his third in Hillsborough County earlier this month. Photo courtesy of Amazing Lash.