By Jeremy Schwartz
and Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News
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The day after Thanksgiving is traditionally the biggest annual shopping day of the year.
Many retailers will have special sales that will extend into the weekend.
Among those who open early Friday will be Swain's General Store at 602 E. First St. in Port Angeles.
The doors will open bright and early at 5 a.m., and the first 100 people through the door will be rewarded with a $10 gift card, said Don Droz, store manager.
Droz said Swain's loyal local customers have made the Friday after Thanksgiving one of the store's best retail days of the year, even during the recent economic struggles.
“We have been very fortunate, and [customers] have supported us throughout this economic downturn,” Droz said.
A special coupon that takes $15 off any purchase of $75 or more will be available Friday, Droz added.
Droz said Swain's has been holding its own in competition with large stores for Friday-after-Thanksgiving dollars.
“Gimmicks are a dime a dozen, but if people have friendly, knowledgeable staff, I think that's what defines us and keeps people coming back,” Droz said.
In downtown Port Angeles, Kylee Pearson, manager of Sassy Kat Hair Salon and Boutique, said she and the owners of Cottage Queen Children's Clothing Store, 119 W. First St., will offer a special giveaway of a $200 combined gift certificate for the two stores Friday.
Sassy Kat's hours will be from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., while Cottage Queen will be open from 10 a.m. to about 7 p.m.
Pearson said every customer visiting Sassy Kat on Friday will get to draw a ticket that will give between 10 percent and 50 percent off on any purchase from 8 a.m. to noon that day.
Pearson said Sassy Kat's owners want to make sure shoppers have a locally owned alternative to big-box stores.
“It's to keep business local, primarily,” Pearson said.
Bay Variety at 135 W. First St. will not be open especially early Friday, though owner Michelle Adolphsen said the store will offer 20 percent off its entire toy collection Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The day after Thanksgiving is “definitely the biggest time for the year by a long ways,” Adolphsen said.
Most downtown Port Angeles stores will offer specials and refreshments during a Hometown Christmas Open House on Saturday.
Barb Frederick, executive director of the Port Angeles Downtown Association, said the Saturday after Thanksgiving will be celebrated as Small Business Saturday, with 23 businesses participating.
“It really just runs the gamut of whatever everyone wants to do,” Frederick said.
Details on participating stores and special offers can found at the downtown association's website at http://bit.ly/Tgd9mh.
Also Saturday, the annual lighting of the Port Angeles community Christmas tree will be held at and around the Conrad Dyar Memorial Fountain at First and Laurel streets beginning at 4 p.m.
Santa Claus will arrive via a Twisted Motor Sports sprint boat and light the community Christmas tree at 5 p.m.
Musical entertainment will be provided by Amanda Bacon, James Gregory and the cast of the Port Angeles Community Players' “A Christmas Story,” which will open at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the theater at 1235 E. Lauridsen Blvd.
Walmarts in both Port Angeles at 3411 E. Kolonels Way and Sequim at 1110 W. Washington St. will be open all night Thursday into Friday morning.
Walmarts nationwide are offering post-Thanksgiving Day sales at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Thursday and again at 5 a.m. Friday.
The J.C. Penney store at 651 W. Washington St. in Sequim will open four hours early for a post-Thanksgiving Day sale from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. Friday.
“Last year, we opened at 4 [a.m.],” said Paul Quinn, store manager.
“The company made the decision to open from 6 [a.m.] to 11 [a.m.]”
Last year, roughly 250 customers came through the doors within the first five minutes of the opening.
This year, J.C. Penney is giving away 80 million buttons to customers as they enter the department stores nationwide.
“There's a little card that goes with those with seven-digit codes,” Quinn said.
“They get a code, go online and check their code for a chance to win vacations, jewelry, appliances, just a ton of gifts.”
The Sequim Costco at 955 W. Washington St. will open two hours earlier than normal at 8 a.m. Friday and close at 8:30 p.m., Costco Assistant Manager Jim Nimz said.
The store will be open for its customary hours this weekend, from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
Nimz said the store has numerous sales on items that are running Friday, Saturday and Sunday, including $100 off Samsung tablet computers, which Nimz said he expects will be one of this year's hot items.
“I might pick one up,” he said.
Nimz said he expects Friday to be the store's best sales day of the year and that the current economic climate has not drastically changed the volume of business over the past few holiday seasons.
“But I guess this Friday will be the proof in the pudding,” Nimz said.
On the West End, Forks Outfitters at 950 S. Forks Ave. will open at its usual time of 8 a.m.
The store will offer 15 percent sales on clothing, shoes, flowers and any one sporting good item, said Dave Gedlund, store manager.
In Port Townsend, as in Port Angeles, shops plan special sales Saturday, with holiday caroling downtown and a Hometown Holiday Sweepstakes at 32 shops, sponsored by Port Townsend Main Street Program.
Others plan special deals for Friday.
Hadlock Building Supply, for instance, will offer Facebook-only deals from midnight to 7 a.m. Friday.
Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reporter Rob Ollikainen contributed to this report.