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Black Friday shoppers hit local stores looking for deals

toms toys black friday.JPG
Posted at 5:40 PM, Nov 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-26 22:08:23-05

The start of the holiday shopping season is officially underway.

If you didn’t get a chance to get out and shop on this Black Friday, many stores are offering discounts all weekend long.

Whether you’ve braved the extreme bargain-shopping holiday in the past…

“I just think it's kind of hunting and see what you can find,” said shopper Jenna Wheeler.

“Fun and lots of sales,” said Karen Milhous.

Or have never taken part in the post-Thanksgiving discount frenzy…

“This is my very first time,” said Barbara Marino.

Black Friday got some people out and about in the heart of San Luis Obispo.

“I was just kind of feeling like in the holiday spirit today,” said Brook Stanley.

“We came downtown just to get the kids out of the house but it was fun to see some of the sales,” said Sarah Hersom. “Got a few last-minute things for the kids' stockings.”

Tom’s Toys kicked off their four-day sale offering 10% to 25% off.

“This is definitely our biggest sale of the year,” said Jack McKeen, Assistant Manager. “Everybody’s like making a mad dash for it. Lego is the number one toy company right now.”

“We got two small metals Slinkys and a couple of mini-figures,” said Hudson Milhous.

Most stores advertised their markdowns right outside their doors, leaving the best steal up for debate.

“I want to say Bath and Body Works. They have like a buy three, get three free kind of deal right now on anything in the store so that was a pretty good deal,” Stanley said.

But shoppers this year did not come out in droves.

“I remember years and years ago there would be like lines out the doors and stuff so it's definitely dwindled down,” Wheeler said.

“The crowds aren't as bad this year,” Stanley said.

“I was expecting we would not be able to get in,” Milhous added.

According to the National Retail Federation, more than 158 million people plan to shop this weekend. That’s up from 156 million last year but still below the 165 million in pre-pandemic 2019.

With Thanksgiving behind us and holiday shopping just getting underway, those we talked with said supporting the community is a must.

“Happy to support local businesses downtown,” Hersom said.

“Everything is handmade and I got many gifts and it was just a lovely experience,” Marino said.

“I do a lot of online shopping but I love to see and pick things up in person and unique things. I like stores that are independently owned,” Milhous concluded.

This weekend is Small Business Saturday where people are really encouraged to shop those locally owned stores.