Snohomish County shoppers turn out for Black Friday
November 30, 2011 · 12:39 PM
MARYSVILLE — Snohomish County shoppers took advantage of Black Friday deals, jumping from store to store to secure all the gifts and gadgets they were after on the annual shoppers’ holiday.
The Target store at Lakewood Crossing hosted a line of shoppers that stretched across the front of the store and around the back. Walmart in Arlington had a good turnout as well.
“The customers wanted a midnight opening,” Target manager Deb Hunt said, noting that her store had previously opened its doors at 4 a.m. “Black Friday is more popular every year. We’re happy to do it because a midnight opening spreads the congestion.”
Arlington resident Kari Cook, a Black Friday shopper for nearly 20 years, visited the Arlington Walmart for its 10 p.m. sale on Thanksgiving while waiting for the midnight Target rush, using her oldest daughters as placeholders at Target until she returned. This year Cook was on the hunt for movies, toys, DVD players and knives.
“I was considering wearing a football uniform so people would stay out of my way,” Cook said.
Serenity Swanson, Cook’s long-time Black Friday teammate said, “It’s not too bad for all the years we’ve done it. We’ve been doing this since high school. Dang, we’re getting old.”
Swanson insisted that Black Friday requires a keen strategy. She checked online apps to map out her odyssey according to which stores had what she wanted on sale. Cook collected Black Friday ads and checked the paper.
“It’s a mad dash to whatever your prize is,” Swanson said of Target’s discount derby. “You have to have a game plan or you’ll get nothing. Just in case there’s an altercation, I have band-aids.”
Megan Calhoun of Marysville, in pursuit of a TV and toys from the “Cars” movies, forged a shopping alliance with Sam Faidley, Nathan Sewell and Arthur Pham, who left Monroe at 8 p.m. and arrived at 9 p.m. to snag Xbox Kinects.
Kathleen Meehan and Hayley Liebel of Marysville and Zack Gibson, Hayley’s cousin, of Lake Stevens, continued the youth movement at Target.
“I’m here for movies and shoes,” said Meehan, who also sought a Blu-ray player. “All my other Christmas shopping is done.”
The squad chose Target because its midnight opening yielded a bigger window to get in first.
“We’re locals,” Liebel said. “We need first dibs. Those DVD players have my name on them.”
The Best Buy next door, which also had even more business than last year, received people camping out for days before the store opened at the same time as Target.
“It has all paid off,” said Carl Smith of Arlington, who had his Thanksgiving dinner brought to him by family. “I’m loving it. I’ll save thousands on a TV.”
Marysville’s Fred Meyer store opened at 5 a.m. on Black Friday and received customers who had made the rounds at different stores hours earlier.
“I’ve been up all day and night, but I only bought two things,” said first-time Black Friday shopper and Arlington native Lacey Roice, who had shopped at Walmart, Target and Kohl’s before coming to Fred Meyer.
While the big box stores flourished overnight, the smaller Marysville stores differed in their shopper traffic.
Hailey Martin of Marysville, soon to complete her first Black Friday, felt the wear-and-tear of all-night shopping sprees.
“It’s tiring,” Martin said. “I could have really punched someone at Target, but Fred Meyer is better because there aren’t as many people and they’re all nice.”
Trusty Threads on Third Street in Marysville benefitted from offering discounts.
“Business was better on Black Friday than Small Business Saturday,” Trusty Threads owner Patricia Schoonmaker said. “It helps that we did a free $5 coupon so we could compete with the bigger stores. A lot of people were starting their Black Fridays on Thanksgiving, so people were spending their money sooner.”
The Craft Mart in the Marysville Mall, however, did not have such a busy day.
“We grossed about the same as last year,” said Kim Gaynor, Craft Mart assistant manager and graphic designer. “It’s difficult to say because we had four different coupons in newspapers.”