LIHUE — While some people were just arriving at the Kukui Grove Shopping Center Friday morning to begin their bargain-hunting extravaganza, Kahea DesMarais had been out shopping since 6 a.m.
The Kalaheo resident said she woke up at 4 a.m. to get in line at Wal-Mart. By 9:30 a.m., she was at Kukui Grove, checking out the sales at Deja Vu Surf Hawaii.
“I’m not looking for anything in particular, just trying to find deals,” she said.
The crowds were out early in search of Black Friday specials at stores including Macy’s, Kmart and Longs Drugs. Sales of 50 percent off, buy one, get one free, or offers of gift certificates with purchases greeted shoppers that included moms and dads without kids, teens, and kupuna buying gifts for grandchildren.
The sunny morning was a good start to the holiday shopping season and retailers were throwing out deals to attract crowds. It worked.
Tessie Mancia, of Kalaheo, was another shopper who braved the parking lots and crowds twice.
“I started early Thursday, at 6 p.m.,” she said.
She hit Kmart, Wal-Mart, Home Depot and Macy’s Thursday night. On Friday, she was back at Macy’s, hauling out bags of items, including a blender.
“It was almost free,” she said.
Kanani Akqui-Ramos spent a few hours in Macy’s Friday morning.
“I didn’t want to attempt to go to Wal-Mart. I’ve heard it’s crowded there,” she said.
The shoe and makeup departments were the most popular spots at Macy’s. Select shoes and boots brands, including Nine West and Clark’s were 40 percent off. Some boots were being sold for $19.99.
Xandra Masumoto, who lives in Lihue, was especially proud of two purchases — a Christmas gift she found for her grandma and a Volcom jacket, which she bought for 50 percent off.
Friday morning was the second trip out for Masumoto, who started shopping Thursday night.
“I fell asleep at 2 a.m., and now I’m back,” she said. “I work tonight, too.”
The crowds were bigger Thursday, she added.
“There were a lot of people at Macy’s,” she said.
A long line of people snaked around the outside of Kmart for its opening Thursday night and when the doors opened, people rushed to find the specials and savings.
Akqui-Ramos, who headed to Macy’s about 10 a.m. Friday, said the crowds were manageable.
The last time Akqui-Ramos participated in Black Friday shopping was five years ago.
“We were out all night, and I hadn’t been back since,” she said.
On Friday, Deja Vu had taken over part of the courtyard just outside of the store front. Everything in the store was 30 percent off. Men’s T-shirts, board shorts, blankets and flip flops were outside the shop. The merchandise ranged in price from $10 to $22.
DesMarias is no stranger when it comes to Black Friday shopping.
“I do it every year,” she said.
She said she used to make a game plan for the day, but now goes with the flow.
“Every store is different,” she said.
Specials deals continue through the weekend. The 23rd annual Christmas Parade is 5 tonight at Kukui Grove Center.