Pleasanton Weekly

News - November 26, 2010

Christmas downtown turns a profit

Shoppers fill the streets in back-to-back festivities

by Jeb Bing

Although retailers in the Bay Area are promoting deep discounts and hoping for big sales on Black Friday, downtown merchants in Pleasanton were a week ahead of the pack with their own special holiday events last weekend.

First, it was downtown's festive "Magical Holiday Evening" last Friday night where, despite a light drizzle, nearly 2,000 shoppers filled the streets to enjoy carolers, Christmas decorations and special sales.

Then Saturday, in a first for Pleasanton, merchants and some restaurants opened their doors at 7 a.m. for the city's jump-start on Black Friday, traditionally the busiest shopping day of the year on the Friday after Thanksgiving. And the discounts were deep, as much as 50%, with scratch-off discount coupons passed out by the Pleasanton Downtown Association, the sponsor of the event.

The PDA partnered with Livermore Downtown Inc. in staging the "Earlier than the Bird" extravaganza with those wearing their pajamas getting even bigger discounts and a few gifts. Many merchants donned their pajamas, too, and at least one store had a sleepover so that those selling until the lights went out Friday night could catch a few winks before the 7 a.m. Saturday opening.

Store owners reported strong sales, which could mean better profits for the season.

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