Hillsdale Shopping Center
60 31st Ave.
San Mateo, CA 94403
The remodeled, enclosed mall with 120 stores has recently added a Forever 21 mega-store, H&M, Michael Kors and a Cheesecake Factory. The big guys are Nordstrom, Macy’s and Sears. Black Friday sales at Banana Republic, Coach, Cost Plus, Gap, Hollister, Old Navy and more will be all the rage. With 5,800 free parking spaces, Hillsdale Shopping Center can manage Black Friday demand, with SamTrans and Caltrain being super convenient as well. Food court vendors will open in the middle of the night when the mall unlocks its doors for the first sales, so why wait outside in the cold?
604 Main St.
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
Owner Charles Nelson at Toque Blanche is into the spirit, passing out 20-percent-off coupons to the first 20 people in the door. Shoppers are treated to free Toque Blanche coffee and a breakfast tasting, a prize raffle, discounts on all red or green items in the store and free shipping on all purchases. Cooking tools for the clever home chef are always in demand and the added attention at Toque Blanche brings in fun-loving gourmet aficionados on Black Friday. Toque Blanche is a virtual beehive of activity with store demonstrations, cooking classes and fun tastings which take place frequently in the shop all year round.
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1060 Evelyn St.
Menlo Park, CA 94025
Under the distinctive black-and-white-striped awning and through the pink door, Kicks has been a Menlo Park mainstay for 19 years for women’s clothes, shoes, accessories and gift items. Masses of black balloons adorn the shop, each with a prize inside, throughout the day on Black Friday. Ranging from a free pair of socks with a $6 value to one grand prize of 50 percent off anything in the shop, there is a prize for everyone. Owner Lee Murphy says she enjoys creating events to make shopping fun by rewarding her customers on both Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, a busy day for independent retailers since the American Express promotion began in 2010.
308 Lorton Ave.
Burlingame, CA 94010
This women’s clothing shop has unique items, many handmade, and a personality all its own. Owner Frankie Meyer loves creating and sharing a special event with her customers every single month. Coming off the success of Halloween featuring a glass pumpkin art display and a trick-or-treat coupon prize for everyone, Frankie is preparing something special for Black Friday but won’t be letting the cat out of the bag quite yet. She adds, ”It’s a user-friendly store. People can even bring in clothes from another store and we will help accessorize.”
740 Laurel St.
San Carlos, CA 94070
Owner Fredy Joudieh says Black Friday crowds along Laurel Street were plentiful last year and that shopping interest extended to Saturday as well. As bargain hunters head en masse to chain stores on Friday, independent store owners focus on delivering personal service in addition to sale prices on both Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving. Gentlemen, often accompanied by their better half, can sip coffee or wine while selecting a suit for that perfect silhouette. Sarrtori sells high-quality men’s clothing, including Versace, Armani and Zegna.
Laurie JM Farr is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. A transplanted New Yorker, she has traveled throughout the world as the Big Apple’s official tourism representative. She served as organizer for three Royal Visits to America. As an international relocation consultant, Laurie assisted more than 400 families with overseas moves and is a proud mother of two, thoroughly bi-cultural children. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.