Despite the allure and ease of online shopping, many San Diegans woke up bright and early Friday to hit retailers across the county, in person, in search of Black Friday deals.
At Las Americas Premium Outlets on Camino de la Plaza, 20 minutes south of downtown San Diego and 20 minutes north of Tijuana, Mexico – shoppers arrived on Thanksgiving evening and early Friday as the shopping center opened at midnight.
Some locals were on the hunt for big bargains at name-brand stores like Michael Kors and Coach. Others were stocking up on essentials for the family. Some were simply browsing, looking to pick up smaller items here and there.
Friends Ian and Kent hit Las Americas around 5 a.m. Ian had planned to shop for clothing for himself, including maybe a coat or cardigans.
By 6 a.m., he had purchased two things: a Starbucks coffee and a pair of cozy, festive snowman socks. Kent followed suit.
“There was a sale going on for these amazing socks, so I had to jump on these immediately,” he told NBC 7, adding that the socks were only $1 per pair.
The friends agreed that, if they saw more good bargains they’d likely splurge on themselves and maybe buy a gift or two for someone else.
Another shopper told NBC 7 she was visiting the outlet mall with a very clear mission in mind.
“We have a list of items we want to buy so that we can manage our time wisely,” she told NBC 7. “I want to buy as many items as I can at discounted prices.”
That shopper said everything she had purchased, so far, had been for her husband. She had picked up two suits to wear to Christmas parties, work clothes and more – all at deep discounts between 60 and 70 percent off.
Sandy Sandoval and her daughter had started their shopping session at Las Americas at 5:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving. Twelve hours later, they were still searching for deals, mostly buying clothing for their family at stores like Aeropostale and Adidas.
Sandoval said they had taken a 2-hour break between stores to rest. The mom had also been able to snag a few things for herself.
“I got watches and sweaters, but I need new knees, because I’m tired,” she joked.
Concha Valladolid took more of a casual approach to her Black Friday shopping.
Valladolid had not planned on shopping but was about to go out for a run Friday morning when she decided she would walk around Las Americas instead and pick up a few things while exercising. She found some pajamas for her family and sneakers, and managed to save a little bit of money.
But, while some shoppers took to the stores in person to do their holiday shopping, others decided to buy their bargains online. According to one data analysis, consumers in the U.S. had spent $1.75 billion shopping online by 2 p.m. Thursday, up more than 28 percent from a year ago.