Rock Hill Galleria hopes gifts will turn 'Black Friday' green

The Rock Hill Galleria, in a bid to lure shoppers, will give the first 250 people through the doors on Friday a $50 gift certificate.

The mall will open at 5 a.m. Gift certificates, good at any of the mall's merchants accepting American Express credit cards, will be given to shoppers who enter through the back entrance near Lee Nails. The cards will work just like a normal gift card and don't have to be used the same day. A shopper must be at least 16 years old to get one.

"It's a little bit of incentive to come out and shop with us rather than other places in Charlotte and Pineville," said Galleria manager Jeff Kirby.

The Friday after Thanksgiving is one of the year's biggest shopping days. The holiday season is when retailers historically have looked for profits to move them out of the red and into the black, hence the name "Black Friday."

Many retailers, worried that the sputtering national economy will cause weary shoppers to curb spending this year, are adding incentives to attract customers.

The Galleria's gift certificate giveaway is its first such promotion since the mall opened in 1991.