CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Charlotte, N.C.,-based department store Belk is giving away $2 million in gift cards in order to draw customers to its stores over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
The chain said in a statement Tuesday that on Thanksgiving this year, it will give away $1 million in gift cards to customers, including to the first 250 customers in line. There will be at least one $1,000 winner in every store, Belk said. On Black Friday, the retailer will give away another $1 million in scratch off cards. Belk said each store will give away scratch off cards to at least the first 150 customers in line.
In addition to the giveaways, Belk is partnering with Habitat for Humanity to build a home for a local family. Each store is responsible for raising the funds for part of a home, such as a kitchen or bedroom. This is the first time Belk is giving away a home for the holidays, a spokesman said.
The giveaways are available at all of Belk's 294 stores across its 16-state footprint. The stores' hours for the Thanksgiving weekend this year are the same as they were last year: 4 p.m.-1 a.m. on Thanksgiving, then 6 a.m.-10 p.m. on Black Friday.
Belk's store giveaways come as shoppers are increasingly doing their holiday shopping online, diluting the impact of the Thanksgiving/Black Friday weekend. Still, it is the busiest weekend of the year for retailers nationwide.
The National Retail Federation said recently it expects sales in November and December this year to rise 3.6 percent to 4 percent, to a range of $678.7 billion to $682 billion. Shoppers in Charlotte plan to spend $605 on average this holiday season, according to a recent survey from Accenture.
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