The aisles of Swain’s General Store in Port Angeles was crowded with many shoppers, mostly men, looking for that Black Friday bargain to start their holiday shopping. (Dave Logan/for Peninsula Daily News)

The aisles of Swain’s General Store in Port Angeles was crowded with many shoppers, mostly men, looking for that Black Friday bargain to start their holiday shopping. (Dave Logan/for Peninsula Daily News)

Weekend holiday shopping vigorous, say Clallam retailers

From smart TVs to yodeling pickles, Clallam County businesses reported their top-selling wares on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday.

In Port Angeles, Swain’s General Store reported a successful Black Friday turnout, beginning at 7 a.m., rushing at 9:30 a.m. and finally dwindling down by the evening. At one point, a line of at least 50 feet ventured past sporting goods, said Mikey Nichols, night and weekend manager.

Nichols could say definitely after 18 years donning the Swain’s name tag, “Today [Black Friday], the store was very happy.”

The four weeks between Black Friday and Christmas account for 15 percent of Swain’s annual sales, store manager Don Droz has said.

Although the store will not have the final sales count until Monday morning, Nichols said profits increased from last year and speculated gift cards and apparel sales fared well.

He also praised the intellect of customers. Nichols never found a customer lacking a coupon or clipped Peninsula Daily News advertisement.

“I think shopping has gotten smarter,” Nichols said. “We had a lot of pre-shoppers over the weekend searching and looking beforehand. People put a lot of thought into it.”

He never heard someone say the oft-feared words in retail: “I can just return it.”

Rather, people seemed to shop intently — with no intent to return, Nichols said.

Around 2 p.m. Saturday, Nichols reported fewer folks than Friday, as expected, but a consistent stream of shoppers nonetheless.

Overall, people seemed calm and happy, he said.

“People here are nice,” said Nichols, whose retail career spans 27 years. “It’s a nice town. People don’t seem to be as flushed. Everybody’s calm.”

Even customers commented on the kindness of other storegoers, he added. And perhaps therein lies the draw of shopping local.

“It’s a big thing,” he said. “A lot of people are not enamored with the idea of going to Silverdale or Seattle.”

The Port Angeles Walmart Supercenter deferred to its corporate media relations, which in advance declined all media interviews Thursday to Sunday.

Downtown retail store Necessities and Temptations reunited with longtime-long-distance customers in town for Thanksgiving during Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, owner Edna Petersen said.

One of the shop’s top-selling Friday/Saturday wares falls under an unusual description: green, German and cheerful.

A yodeling pickle ornament.

Hanging atop the store’s 13 themed Christmas trees, Christopher Radko collectible ornaments — along with the humorous, motion detector pickle — represented two of the store’s hottest-selling items over the weekend, Petersen said.

For Black Friday and Saturday, Port Book and News worker Calista Mordecai-Smith estimated about double the typical foot traffic.

Christmas greeting cards and books on the best seller’s list sold especially well, she said. The store also offered a 12-, 20- and 25-percent discount drawing.

Port Angeles’ annual community Christmas tree lighting Saturday capped off the occasion for shopping local, drawing from the help of area businesses, including Lower Elwha River Casino, KONP, Strait Radio, Westport Yachts, Bella Italia, Blackbird Coffeehouse, Necessities and Temptations, Next Door Gastropub, La Brocante and Cabled Fiber and Yarn.

“It’s part of the local culture,” Petersen said.

Forks

For Forks Outfitters, the grandest shopping day is yet to come.

Black Friday at the Forks community supermarket finds itself overshadowed by Moonlight Madness, a West End Business and Professional Association event coming up 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, following the Twinkle Light Parade. Forks merchants offer expanded hours and sales on the day.

“Moonlight Madness is very big for us,” Manager Dave Gedlund said.

Black Friday shoppers at Forks Outfitters nabbed a lot of apparel — discounted 15 percent across the board, he said. Gedlund also noted standout sales in sporting goods, nursery and floral and shoes.

“It went real well,” Gedlund summed up.

Sequim

Within the first hour of the store’s 9 a.m. opening, Costco greeters saw a swarm of more than 400 eager shoppers.

“That’s great for us,” said Julianne Coonts, membership and marketing manager. “We usually have 200 to 225 people every hour.”

Its top-selling items included a 40-inch Samsung television, Fitbit, $100 iTunes gift cards and pumpkin pies, Coonts said.

In contrast to Costco, Sequim’s Walmart Supercenter saw its most bustling hour on turkey day: 6 p.m. Thursday, store manager Lee Ruiz said Saturday.

Ruiz could not specify the sales increase from last year, he said, but offered the modifiers: “strong” and “positive.”

The supercenter’s top-selling items included electronics, such as PlayStation and Xbox consoles and smart TVs, Ruiz said, noting strong ship-to-store online sales in all departments as well.

On Friday, the store saw a rush from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., unusual for Sequim’s typically early shoppers, he said.

But the greatest highlight to Ruiz was a sense of holiday spirit, he said. About 90 employees — an uptick of 30 more people from the typical staff — donned multi-colored vests to represent departments, and Thanksgiving workers feasted on a traditional turkey dinner in the lounge.

Meanwhile, smaller Sequim stores beckoned “Choose Local” on social media.

Susan Baritelle, owner of Dungeness Kids Co., 163 W. Washington St., gave away 20 “Shop Local” totes — 15 within the first few hours of opening, she said.

“It’s really nice to see all of the people who choose local,” Baritelle said, noting greater turnout on Small Business Saturday than Black Friday. Melissa & Doug wooden toys and puzzles, books and Tea Collection children’s clothing sold in the greatest volumes, she said.

Purple Haze Lavender remained open an additional hour (until 6 p.m.) to accommodate Black Friday and Small Business shoppers seeking its storewide 20-percent discount. The discount continues today from noon to 4 p.m.

Employee Hailey Andrews said about 80 to 100 people visited the downtown store, 127 W. Washington St., on Friday. As of 1:30 p.m. Saturday, a steady stream of customers picked up gift bundles and lavender items such as soap, oil and lotion, she said.

Brian’s Sporting Goods & More reported a “busy day” Friday, particularly between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., though workers did not have the headcount. The most popular items included rain gear, fleece and other winter weather apparel, sales associate Jackson Mayers said.

Several 20-percent discounts, including Carhatt, Columbia, rods and reels, binoculars, knives and Smartwool continue today from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Sequim residents gathered at Sequim Centennial Place Saturday afternoon for music by the Sequim City Band, a community tree lighting, Santa coming by way of carriage and antique tractors parading through town.

________

Reporter Sarah Sharp can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56650, or at [email protected].

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