Black Friday is often considered a day of excess — a chance to snag a discount on luxury items, such as big televisions or fancy electronics. Many shoppers in Clark County, however, said they hit the stores for discounts on necessities and gifts.
At Vancouver Mall on Friday, shoppers bustled to fill their shopping bags. Menesha Veltise and Makenna Kroo, both from Longview, braved the crowd.
“We’re trying to take advantage of these great deals and get some necessities — well, things that we feel are necessities,” Veltise said.
She and her friend grabbed deals on clothes and accessories.
Jami Vanderwel of Battle Ground began her Black Friday by hitting Fred Meyer’s sock sale to outfit her family. The rest of the day, she searched for clothes, gifts and a little something for herself.
“I’m looking for a good deal,” Vanderwel said.
‘Looking for value’
Across town, Matthew and Cheryl Keim visited Kohl’s in east Vancouver. They weren’t shopping for any gifts, just necessities.
Matthew Keim said it looked like most people at Kohl’s were shopping for clothes. He bought a lot of socks and T-shirts, himself.
“We saved like a hundred bucks,” he said.
A National Retail Federation survey predicted clothes would be among the most popular shopping categories for people this year.
“Consumer habits have changed significantly and continued to ebb and flow,” said Kendra Doyel, vice president of merchandising at Portland-based Fred Meyer. “Most people are really looking for value.”
Value, she added, isn’t just price but also convenience, availability and quality. At Fred Meyer, toys are big sellers on Black Friday along with necessities, such as socks.
“People are under a bit of financial pressure” Doyel said. “But at the end of the day, people still want to celebrate holidays in a meaningful way.”
To Doyel, that’s where getting deals on necessities comes into the picture.
“They want to be able to splurge on the things that really make the holiday great,” she said.