Retailers across the North Olympic Peninsula reported steady sales Thanksgiving weekend.
“Black Friday was absolutely crazy; it was a madhouse in here,” said Susan Erdmann, supervisor at JC Penney in Sequim, which was one of the few Peninsula stores open on Thanksgiving. She said the most popular items were small appliances, boots and pajamas.
The day after Thanksgiving, known as Black Friday, for decades has been considered the biggest shopping day of the year. That has diminished nationally with the growing popularity of Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, but not necessarily on the Peninsula.
“We were busy all day,” on Friday, said Leanne Price, weekend supervisor at Swain’s General Store in Port Angeles, which opened an hour early that day.
“We had lines all the way from the cashiers back to the sporting goods counter, halfway down the store. It was a of fun.”
The store was still busy Saturday afternoon, she said — as were others on the Peninsula, where Small Business Saturday was celebrated with visits from Santa and community tree lightings in Sequim and Port Angeles.
“We are having a very good Saturday,” said Sandy Spencer, owner of Lively Olive Testing Bar in Port Townsend — an olive oil and vinegar specialty shop — at mid-afternoon.
“We have a full store right now and we had an excellent Friday — until the game started [the Apple Cup between the University of Washington Huskies and the Washington State University Cougars] and then it was a total ghost town,” she said.
Pondicherri in Sequim, which recently celebrated its 25th anniversary, was busier on Saturday than on Friday, said a sales clerk who declined to be identified.
Nationally, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are increasingly blending into one big holiday shopping event as more customers buy items online and pick them up at brick-and-mortar stores, according to The Associated Press.
Adobe Analytics reported Saturday that more customers are going to stores to get items they bought online, The Associated Press said, adding that the trend contributed to a record $6.22 billion spent online Thursday, up nearly 24 per cent from last year.
On the Peninsula, though, most seemed to shop the old-fashioned way — going to the stores and browsing.
Shopping was “better than expected,” Friday and was continuing on Saturday, said Assistant Manager Christopher Edgecomb at the Walmart Supercenter in Port Angeles. “We’re trending really well. We’re definitely up from last year.”
The biggest sales were of electronics and toys, he said.
Forks Outfitters “did quite well yesterday,” said Dave Gedlund, manager, on Saturday, “better than last year.”
Saturday was “pretty much a regular Saturday after Thanksgiving,” he added.
Recreational marijuana did well on Black Friday too, according to Carlie Lamb, a budtender at Hidden Bush in Port Angeles.
“Black Friday was a busy day for us,” she said. The flow of customers “was constant from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.”
Art also drew crowds, according to Cheryl Bentley, volunteer at Northwind Arts Center in Port Townsend.
She said that 146 people came to the arts center on Friday. By mid-afternoon Saturday, some 30 people had visited.
Quimper Mercantile in Port Townsend was busy Friday selling clothes, shoes and toys, said Holly Mayshark, store manager.
On Saturday, Ron McEroy, department manager, said that shopping seemed to be stronger than last year.
Bubble N Squeak was busy both days, said Dawn Mohrbacher, owner of the Port Townsend import store, but Friday tended to draw customers going for the more high-end goods she has from England.
“We don’t have crazy sales and we aren’t swamped, but it has been a steady flow of customers,” said Stacey Matthews, manager of Hadlock Building Supply in Port Hadlock, on Friday “The biggest sellers are lights for decorating.”
Traffic was steady at Brown’s Outdoors in Port Angeles, said co-owner Evan Brown on Saturday, adding that it was perhaps slightly less than last year’s Thanksgiving weekend.
Even so, he had “a lot of people in,” but they tended to buy items not quite as expensive as last year.
Kevin James, floor manager at The Co-op Farm & Garden in Sequim summed up the weekend: “Lots of happy customers and lots of local shopping.”
Executive Editor Leah Leach can be reached at 360-417-3530 or at [email protected].