PORT ANGELES — Shoppers and merchants of the North Olympic Peninsula are raring for the post-Thanksgiving holiday shopping rush.
Retailers from Port Townsend to the West End are offering discount sales and holiday themes today on what is called Black Friday — traditionally the biggest shopping day of the year — and Small Business Saturday.
Swain’s General Store in Port Angeles is opening at 6 a.m. today — two hours early — for Black Friday.
Coffee and doughnuts will be served “right off the gate as long as they last,” manager Don Droz said.
Swain’s gift cards will be sold at 20 percent off, today only.
Black Friday sales at Swain’s include a $100 discount on a normally $249.87 propane smoker, a $20 discount on a normally $39.87 telescope-microscope combo and other “hot items,” Droz said.
While many shoppers have eschewed Black Friday — national sales were down 12 percent last year, according to Business Insider — customers keep coming back to Swain’s on the day after Thanksgiving for the traditional shopping experience.
“We’ve always had loyal shoppers that want to come in here and support us,” Droz said.
“We’re really thankful for that.”
Many Sequim merchants are offering extended hours today and Saturday.
American Express, which started Small Business Saturday seven years ago, reports an estimated 95 million U.S. consumers shopped on Small Business Saturday last year and spent $16.2 billion at local and independent businesses, organizers report.
Forks Outfitters will celebrate Black Friday by offering $8.99 toys and specials of 15 percent off in several departments, a store employee said.
Forks Outfitters will open at its regular time at 8 a.m. today.
Walmart stores in Sequim and Port Angeles began Black Friday sales Thursday, as did J.C. Penney, Sears, Macy’s and other chains.
Big 5 opens at 5 a.m. today and The Home Depot will ring in Black Friday at 6 a.m. today, according to advertisements.
In Port Townsend, 38 businesses have signed on for Port Townsend Main Street’s “Look Here First” campaign, a holiday promotion that includes shopping, dining and special events.
“The stores are all open on Friday,” Port Townsend Main Street Program Executive Director Mari Mullen said earlier this week.
“We really feel we have gifts covered here in Port Townsend.”
Port Townsend Main Street’s Small Business Saturday and Merchant Open House will highlight the weekend on Saturday.
Many shops will offer in-store treats. The Wild Rose Chorale will sing carols uptown and downtown from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
Mullen said the Saturday festivities are “kind of the kickoff of the holiday season.”
Small Business Saturday, a national event, was created in 2010 to encourage shoppers to support hometown businesses.
“Our hometown businesses are fun to shop in, the people who work there are your friends, neighbors and they are partners in the success of our community,” Mullen said in a Wednesday email.
“We have thousands of great gift ideas, gift certificates, and products which are selected thoughtfully by people who know their customers.”
Every dollar spent at a local independent business is returned threefold to the local economy compared to a dollar spent at a chain, Mullen added.
Hadlock Building Supply in Port Hadlock will open at 7 a.m. today offering a 50 percent discount on one regularly priced item.
The store is bringing back its Black Friday prize walk, which is “kind of like a cake walk,” owner Bill Kraut said.
Prize spots will be on the floor and when announced, shoppers will pick a spot and win a corresponding prize.
Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at [email protected].