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Black Friday? That's so yesterday

Tomorrow is Small Business Saturday in Pleasanton

If you can't find a place to park today as you make your way around town to start your Christmas shopping, think positive.

Merchants from Macy's at Stoneridge Shopping Center to Clover Creek downtown will be ecstatic, glad to see you frantically searching for a parking spot to join the customers standing in line at their cash registers inside. It's what they've been waiting for.

Today is Black Friday--the day after Thanksgiving--and traditionally one of the busiest shopping days of the year for retailers. Many of us no doubt stayed glued to our computers between turkey and pumpkin pie yesterday checking for door-buster deals that actually started right after the pie was served -- at 6 p.m. at Walmart, 8 p.m. at some stores in the Mall and places like Best Buy, and even all day yesterday at K-Mart, wherever it has stores in the region.

There's a reason, of course, that those who sell want us to shop early and often. It's not been a terribly bang-up year in retailing.

An unusually warm and dry fall has caused a drop in winter wear and rain gear, here in the Bay Area at least. The recent government shutdown, concerns over whether there might be another one and uncertainties over the cost of healthcare insurance in the coming months have dampened buyer enthusiasm along with sales. That's why Black Friday is important this year. It's also supposed to mark the time that takes retailers out of the red (losses) and into the black (profits).

In reality, though, Black Friday's shadow extends back to Halloween when we first saw promotions for Christmas shopping sales.

Downtown Pleasanton stores jumped the gun last weekend with three special holiday shopping events that ran from 7 a.m. to late at night with Main Street and side streets filled with shoppers most of the day. Santa was at the Museum on Main, two weeks ahead of the day he traditionally paid a visit to Pleasanton during the city's annual Holiday Parade, which will be Dec. 7. But then Santa's been at Stoneridge all month.

Still, there's always some mystery and even fun in visiting all the stores on Black Friday, if not to grab that $279 flatscreen TV set off the shelf but to watch the crowds sort their way through the merchandise. Even Home Depot added some suspense Wednesday with several aisles of tools covered securely in black tarp that warned: "Hands off until Nov. 29."

If you're one of the few stuck at work today, joining the thousands across the country who were called to work Thanksgiving Day to launch Black Friday, don't despair.

Cyber Monday is just a weekend away, which officially marks the beginning of the Christmas online shopping season. Seeing all the specials already offered at Amazon.com, eBay, Crutchfield.com and others, it's hard to believe there's anything left for a price cut. But check anyway.

Just don't forget that tomorrow is Small Business Saturday in Pleasanton and throughout the U.S. independent retailers' community. The best deals could be right here in our own backyard, where the sales taxes also stay.

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by John
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 29, 2013 at 9:05 am

Or... we could decide that retail consumerism isn't how we wish to define the success or failure of our country. Important as it is, economic growth is not sustainable in the long run. It would be nice if our national holidays were not all overshadowed by demands and expectations that everyone spend money, mostly on stuff nobody really needs...


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Shopper
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 29, 2013 at 9:40 am

Targets were open at 8:00 yesterday. This morning I went to our Outlets, Chico's specifically. (Stoneridge Drive @ ElCharro) Traffic is directed to park in rear lot between stores & freeway. Only half of front lot is available because they have it set up for valet parking. I went at 8am, shopped Chico's and back home, no problems except for Kate Spade & Burberry...long lines outside.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sarah
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 29, 2013 at 10:09 am

Freedom to go shopping is a freedom that makes us the great nation we are today although if it weren't for the takers and the Democrats who want to coerce real Americans' tax money and then give it to the takers so they'll vote for them although most don't but we still need more voter restriction laws, my gosh, we'd have even more money to conspicuously consume which is exactly of course what the original Founders had desired. I told my husband I want six different Gucci purses for this Christmas when we thank Jesus for our right to shop which would be even a bigger and better right if the tax and spend members of Our Dear Leader's party, you know, the Democrats, allowed capitalism to unfold which is why once upon a time a little child who was born in a manger was sent down to us.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sirena
a resident of Val Vista
on Nov 29, 2013 at 10:50 am

Yeah Sarah!! My thoughts exactly!!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Nov 29, 2013 at 11:30 am

shopping can be fun but i never waste money...i have what i need and rarely do i waste money on junk for sale...plus i don't celebrate xmas...


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Shopper
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 29, 2013 at 11:49 am

Viper Sarah's mockery is so disjointed. However, I can't imagine anybody standing in line at Kate Spade or Burberry to buy overpriced 'stuff'. I was commenting on navigating though their lines that ran into each other, and required a guard. Regardless of her irrelevancies, I'm sure Sarah will continue to mock the freedom our system allows. She prefers keeping everybody on food stamps to prevent such foolish freedoms.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Quote of the day
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 29, 2013 at 9:59 pm

Black Friday-
Because only in America,
people trample each other for
sales exactly one day after being
thankful for what they already have!


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