The National Retail Federation anticipates more shoppers this year will be storming the aisles on Black Friday, and area shops from big-box retailers such as Target and Walmart to small locally owned stores like and chocolatier Chuao are ready for the crowds.
Brian Miller, owner of La Jolla-based Geppetto’s, said his eight toy stores in San Diego are ready for the holiday season. He said the stores are well-stocked and employees are ready.
“I think we will have a pretty robust season,” said Miller. “We’ve already had a great start of the month.”
According to the federation, 74 million people say they will definitely hit the stores and an additional 77 million are waiting to see if the bargains are worth braving the crowds.
Geppetto’s—with locations in Fashion Valley, Old Town and 4S Ranch—will have its own Black Friday sale. All Calico Critters, a plush and poseable animal, and German-made Playmobil products, small figurines, will be buy-one-get-one-half-off through the weekend.
Despite the economic lull, Carlsbad-based has seen an increase in sales over last year at its locations in Encinitas, UTC and Del Mar Highlands, and online.
“Studies have shown that consumers have ‘traded up’ when purchasing chocolate,” said Brooke Feldman, director of marketing and communications for Chuao, who specializes in Venezuelan-inspired confections. “This economic climate might mean that they no longer take lavish vacations or buy expensive gifts, but they still want to treat themselves and the ones they love.”
Chuao, founded in 2002, hosted several holiday preview parties with special offers and samples of holiday products last weekend at each of its stores.
The decorations are hung and Santa is ready for his visit to each of the seven Westfield malls in San Diego County on Black Friday. Westfield, one of the largest owners of retail space in the county, anticipates more customer foot traffic this year when it opens early on Friday morning.
“Customer traffic continues to build, and our retailers are working hard to make this holiday season a success,” said Adrienne Bergeron, a marketing director for Westfield in San Diego.
“Customers have not stopped shopping; they have adjusted their spending behaviors, and ultimately, it is the best retailers and the best shopping environments that capture the greatest share of the adjusted consumer behavior,” Bergeron said via email.
Jerry Mudra, owner of in Santee, said it will be business as usual on Friday morning. He anticipates the large crowds will head to the shopping malls. His store sells sports memorabilia from collectible helmets to player cards.
“We do more business after Christmas then we do before the holidays,” said Mudra.
If you don't want to wait so long to get your shop on, try stopping in at one of these stores with special hours on Friday:
- Best Buy stores open at 12 a.m. Friday.
- Big 5 will open at 5 a.m. Friday
- Fry’s stores will be open 12 a.m.
- JC Penney stores open at 4 a.m. Friday.
- Kohl’s with 10 locations in San Diego County also opens at 12 a.m. Friday.
- All eight Macy’s stores in San Diego County will be open Friday from 12 a.m. to 10 p.m.
- Both Office Depot and Staples open at 12 a.m. Friday.
- Sears will open at 4 a.m. Friday.
- In San Diego County, Toys R Us opens at 9 p.m. Thursday.
- All 19 Target stores in San Diego County will be open Friday from 12 a.m. to 11 p.m.
- Wal-Mart opens at 10 p.m. Thursday.
- The Carlsbad Forum has stores opening as early as 4 a.m. Friday. For a list of deals click here.
- The Carlsbad Premium Outlets are open at 12 a.m. Friday for Midnight Madness.