And for those who prefer shopping on the weekend, Saturday is Small Business Saturday in Vancouver
It is not just the deals that inspire people to wake up early on a Friday morning.
It is the memories, the shared time with friends and family doing something out of the ordinary.
For some, Black Friday has become customary.
“I debated whether or not to come this year,” said Jessica Wasch of Vancouver. “No, I need to do it. It’s part of my normal tradition.”
So there was Jessica and her husband Kyle, in line at 6:55 a.m. Friday outside a Target store in east Vancouver. They have two boys.
“We’re looking for some good deals for gifts for our kids, and we’re trying to save as much money as possible,” Jessica said.
Black Friday, at least at this location, was rather tame compared to some of the scenes that make national news. From overheard communication between employees, there were more than 120 in line as the doors opened at 7 a.m.
7 a.m.? That’s easy, Jessica said.
“This is the latest I’ve gotten up,” she said. “Usually I’d be home by now.”
She recalled a 3 a.m. wake-up to get in line for a popular Star Wars video game about 15 years ago.
“Everyone was waiting in line for this video game. They passed out passes,” Jessica recalled. “People were upset when they didn’t get a pass to the game.”
Taylor and Nick Morse are in town from Richland, Wash., visiting family in Vancouver for Thanksgiving. Taylor said she usually does her Black Friday shopping with her aunt, but her aunt is out of town this year. Instead, Nick tagged along with her.
They are early planners.
“We bought most of our gifts starting in July,” Taylor said.
But the lure of Black Friday was too strong.
“We’re looking to blow money,” she said with a laugh.
Interestingly, they also said they were there just to shop for themselves because they had already purchased their gifts for others. Inside the store, though, they found a play set that they knew a loved one would want. They said they couldn’t resist.
Taylor and Nick woke up at 4 a.m. to be at Kohl’s by 5 a.m., then were in line at Target before that store’s opening.
Inside the store, Danielle Martin, Twila Garner, Janet Laddusaw, and Jennifer Walker celebrated their 10th year of Black Friday shopping together, wearing matching shirts that read: “Black Friday Crew.”
Vancouver Mall officially opened at 8 a.m., a few hours earlier than normal business hours, for Black Friday. Some stores in the mall actually opened at 6 a.m. As this reporter arrived at 7:40 a.m., there were already shoppers leaving, with their hands full of bags.
Black Friday is known nationally for all the deals from the large outlets such as Target, Walmart, and the like.
There is an alternative for those who slept in on Friday or simply wanted to stay away from those crowds and major retailers.
Saturday is Small Business Saturday.
Of course, those who braved Black Friday are invited to bring their shopping eyes (and wallets) to small businesses, too.
Earlier this month, Vancouver Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle proclaimed that Nov. 26 would be Small Business Saturday in Vancouver.
“Whereas … the government of Vancouver, Washington, celebrates our local small businesses and the contributions they make to our local economy and community; … now, therefore I, Anne McEnerny-Ogle, Mayor of Vancouver, do hereby proclaim November 26, 2022, as: Small Business Saturday.”
The mayor urged residents to ensure their shopping plans include local small businesses.
As far as Black Friday, some shoppers were thrilled with the national trend of holding Black Friday on, yep, Friday.
In the previous decade or so, many stores were opening on Thanksgiving Day. But in the past couple of years, stores such as Target have kept their stores closed on the holiday.
“I like the fact that the employees get to spend time with their families,” Jessica Wasch said. “They shouldn’t have to work. Also, it just makes it more special for the day after Thanksgiving, and it feels like the Christmas season starts.”
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