A drizzle couldn’t stop marathon runner Thelma Cacal from venturing out on Black Friday. She was at Sports Authority to avoid lines that she knew she’d have to fight through on Thursday.
“I didn’t have to wait,” Cacal said while on her lunch break, speeding through the crowds at Kukui Grove Center. “I bought these Asics running shoes, which are typically, hmmm, $90. Saved 30 percent.”
After a strong start to the shopping season Thursday night, Kauai residents and visitors continued looking for the best doorbuster deals, blue light specials, and discounts Friday.
They found them.
Teenagers Wailana and Naia Longley were in high spirits while waiting in line at Genki Sushi after their shopping spree.
The girls, who arrived at the mall around 8:30 a.m., picked up some Bratz dolls for their cousins and clothes for themselves. They each spent less than $40 on gifts, including some from Deja Vu.
Even still, the Longley girls were not done shopping, they said with smiles.
“She’s going to get her nails done,” Naia said of Wailana, her cousin.
Around noon on Friday, crowds began to grow and everything got a bit more chaotic.
Dawn Hernandez, 41, and her daughter Daelin Nadarisay, 15, had a $100 budget that they stuck to on Black Friday during their shopping excursion at Deja Vu. They said they skipped the doorbuster deals simply to avoid the crowds.
“I didn’t think it would be that busy this afternoon because I drove by a few hours earlier and it didn’t look like there was any people,” Hernandez said. “Then I came back and I was like whoa! I think the people now are the people who didn’t go to the midnight sales. People who are avoiding the crowds. But now there are crowds!”
One of the many people in that late lunch crowd was Lindsay Tuel, 25, and she was rushing around trying to get winter clothes for her mid-December trip to the Mainland, where she’ll visit family and friends.
“It’s freezing already,” Tuel said as she opened up a bag from Sports Authority, which contained black sweats she got for under $20. “I just started today, about half an hour ago. I’ll be shopping for the family, too, like electronics at Walmart or Kmart.”
“I don’t want to spend more than $100,” she said.
Mother and daughter duo Tammy and Brianni Higashi started their shopping early Friday at Macy’s.
“We decided to avoid the Black Friday crowd,” Tammy said. “It’s crazy. We don’t do it anymore.”
The two landed some pretty good doorbuster sales, about 50 percent off the clothes they purchased, Tammy said. The clothes were for them, she said.
“It’s all about us,” she said jokingly as she made her way around Macy’s. “We shop for them the day before. I’m going to look at the housewares next.”
Diane Higa spent three hours shopping at Walmart buying toys and gifts for her grandniece and family. Then, she and her friend came to Kmart and spent more time going down the aisles.
“We were only going to come here for the jade bangles for the babies, but the blue light specials got us,” she said as she stuffed the back of her car with assorted presents for family members. “They go on every half hour and it’s an additional mark down. You have to be present. The blue light specials were just calling us.”
But did they get anything for themselves?
“Everything is a gift,” Higa said. “We’re going to go eat. We’re more about immediate gratification.”
Full of holiday cheer, bachelor Brandon Napahapo, 24, pushed a cart filled with Christmas ornaments and decorations outside the Kmart.
“I just bought a tree earlier at the Home Depot,” he said.
He plans to put up his tree and decorate it this weekend. He wants to continue shopping for wrapping paper and presents and just “wing it” because he’s not sure what to get, yet.
Paul Ribucan of Kauai Coffee Roasters, who serves coffee at the Kmart Fridays, said shoppers were coming into the store looking for deals all morning.
“Last year, it was a madhouse,” Ribucan said. “This year is was not so bad.”
Margaret Kagawa agreed and called her shopping experience at Kmart “pleasant.”
On Thursday she drove to Lihue from Waimea looking for the Marshmallow 2-in-1 Flip Open Sofa, Disney Minnie’s Bow-tique, which typically sells for about $45, but was on sale at Walmart for $20. It was sold out.
“Usually those things are gone,” said her daughter Melissa Kagawa. “A lot of people like it.”
“When I was at Walmart, that one was gold!” Kagawa said. “They were gold, but I’m glad I found it here in Kmart. There was about half a dozen left.”
She ended up paying about $10 more, but she’s not disappointed. The sofa is for her 11-month-old granddaughter, Skyler Kagawa.
She also found some hot deals, including a toaster oven, cookware set and an outside gazebo.
Friday afternoon, she said she was still not done.
“We are coming to town anyway might as well do some other errands,” she said. “More stores.”