Black Friday holiday shopping rush in full swing in Sonoma County
Macy’s would like to clarify: “doorbuster” is a discount for early- bird shoppers on Black Friday.
It is not a suggestion.
That distinction seemed unclear on Friday morning to a group of chilled customers at the Coddington Mall Macy’s, who’d gathered outside the Santa Rosa store’s northern entrance to take advantage of its day after Thanksgiving deals. When those doors did not open on schedule at 6 a.m., some shoppers began thumping on the glass.
“Well, it was 6:02,” said a woman holding two full shopping bags. “And it was cold out there.”
By 6:10 a.m., some eight minutes after the doors opened, Lily Hernandez stood beaming at a nearby checkout counter. A stack of shoeboxes teetered on the counter as she completed her purchase. Her haul: five pairs for less than $100. And she’d only just begun to shop.
Hernandez joined thousands of shoppers across Sonoma County and the nation who rose early Friday for the traditional, official kickoff of the holiday shopping season. Consumers nationwide are expected to spend $730 billion from today until Christmas on holiday purchases, up 4% from 2018.
Clutching Starbucks cups, Stacey Ankrom and her friend, Collette Johnson, engaged a voice- activated Lie Detector Game on a table near the Macy’s shoe department. Johnson was carrying Star Wars and Toy Story Legos for her son.
They’d already been to the Home Depot, where Ankrom stocks up every year on the store’s 99 cent poinsettias. This year she got 24.
Between online sales and stores opening on Thanksgiving Day proper — as this Macy’s had at 5 p.m., remaining open until 2 a.m. next morning — Black Friday “isn’t what it used to be,” said Ankrom, of Santa Rosa.
The two friends had driven to the nearby Home Depot shortly after 5 a.m., only to learn that it didn’t open for another hour. “I was a little perturbed,” said Johnson, who blamed her friend for the confusion. “I basically told her she was dead to me.”
Then they both cracked up laughing.
Four miles south, a line of about 80 people had formed outside the Best Buy on Santa Rosa Avenue, which opened at 8 a.m.
Among the shopping crowd inside the store was Petaluma’s Jennifer Baumsteiger, who was with two of her sisters and four of their daughters. They’d already been to Target, Old Navy and Lowe’s — where poinsettias were available for a mere 50 cents.
The consensus among the sisters was that Black Friday definitely has lost some of its pizazz.
“We miss the rush of rushing in with everyone else,” declared a sister in a John Carroll University sweatshirt.
More than 165 million people are expected to shop over this five-day holiday weekend, starting with Thanksgiving and ending with Cyber Monday, according to a survey released this week by the National Retail Federation.
A surprisingly large fraction of those consumers thronged the Petaluma Village Premium Outlets on Friday. By 12:30 p.m., the line of southbound motorists on Petaluma Boulevard waiting to turn left into the outlets was backed up more than a mile. Upon finally arriving, they were directed to overflow parking in a dirt lot adjacent to Highway 101.