Stores open early for Black Friday rush in Clallam County
Swain's General Store employee Kathy Stilts stocks a floor display with Scrusher boot cleaners in Port Angeles on Wednesday to prepare for the Christmas shopping season. -- Photo by Chris Tucker/Peninsula Daily News
By Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News
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Swain's General Store in Port Angeles planned to open its doors at 5 a.m., with staff providing coffee, doughnuts and $10 gift certificates for the first 100 customers.
"We'll keep everybody all sugared up, caffeinated up and ready to have a good time," said Mike Mudd, Swain's' merchandise manager, on Wednesday.
"We've got good inventory. Our store is stocked full. We've got a lot of good merchandise."
Black Friday -- always the day after Thanksgiving -- marks an unofficial holiday when low prices drive bargain-hungry shoppers out of bed into the Christmas season.
Traditionally, Black Friday is the day that retailers' move from the red to the black, or profit side.
Traditional gathering place
Mudd said many customers consider the Swain's General Store at 601 E. First St., a traditional gathering place for the holidays.
He said last year's Black Friday drew more than 100 customers.
Post-Thanksgiving deals at Swain's will last until Tuesday, Mudd said.
Walmart shoppers weren't going to have to line up in the cold for holiday specials. They could be already inside the store.
The Walmart stores at 3500 E. Highway 101, Port Angeles, and 1110 W. Washington St., Sequim -- along with thousands of others across the country -- planned to stay open all Thursday night and today, until it closes tonight.
Shoppers were free to fill their carts in the early-morning hours today, but the registers couldn't process Black Friday deals until 5 a.m.
Kim Washburn, Port Angeles Walmart manager, said the hot items for this holiday season are TVs, laptop computers and trampolines.
Most of nation's 3,500 Walmart stores were also open all-night.
Besides boosting sales, the company hoped to thin sometimes-volatile Black Friday crowds.
Last year, an employee was trampled to death by crowds after a store opened in Long Island, N.Y.
"It's an added measure to help manage the event at all of our stores," Walmart spokeswoman Daphne Moore said.
Forks Outfitters, an Ace Hardware, Thriftway, sporting goods, apparel and souvenir shopping center at 950 S. Forks Ave., planned to open one hour early today at 7 a.m.
"We've got quite a few specials," said Bruce Paul, part owner of Forks Outfitters.
In Sequim, Swain's Outdoor at 551 W. Washington St., planned to open three hours early at 6 a.m.
The JCPenney department store at 651 W. Washington St., in Sequim was set to open at 4 a.m. and stay open until 11 p.m.
Sondra Smith, a supervisor at the Sequim JCPenney, said sleepwear and jackets are typically hot sellers on Black Friday.
She said the store has drawn about 100 customers the day after Thanksgiving for the past few years.
Also in Sequim, beginning today and continuing through Dec. 6, customers can enter to win more than $1,300 in gift certificates. The drawing for the gift baskets will be on Dec. 9, the Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce said.
Many analysts expect sales for the weekend to be unchanged compared with last year, even though the National Retail Federation trade group projects bigger crowds.
That's because individual shoppers are expected to cut back on their spending even more this year, according to analysts.
Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-417-3537 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last modified: November 26. 2009 9:17PM