Black Friday live chat: Talk shopping strategies with reporter Laura Gunderson
11:37
The Oregonian: 
Welcome to our live chat on Black Friday shopping. Laura will join us at noon, but you can go ahead and send in questions and comments now. Once we get started, there will be a short delay between the submission of your question/comment and its appearance in the chat.
Tuesday November 20, 2012 11:37 The Oregonian
11:54
Do you think it's a good thing that many retailers are opening on Thanksgiving for Black Friday sales?
Yes
 ( 20% )
No
 ( 80% )

Tuesday November 20, 2012 11:54 
11:58
Laura Gunderson: 
Hello all! Thanks for joining us today to chat about the shopping holiday Black Friday, which actually starts on Thursday.

Confusing...but don't worry, we'll make it all clear.
Tuesday November 20, 2012 11:58 Laura Gunderson
11:58
The Oregonian: 
Laura, do people rush out on Black Friday because the deals disappear the next day? Or is it more that people just like being part of a frenzy?
Tuesday November 20, 2012 11:58 The Oregonian
11:58
Laura Gunderson: 
Actually, this year, it's a little different.

Retailers are doing some weird hours in an attempt to capture two groups of folks: The people who want to head out in the evening after finishing their Thanksgiving meal and those who'd rather go to bed after the turkey and wake up at dawn.
Tuesday November 20, 2012 11:58 Laura Gunderson
11:58
Laura Gunderson: 
Several retailers are doing two or three rounds of doorbuster sales. Kmart, which has been open on Thanksgiving for 21 years, will have sales from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. on Thursday and then again from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. Walmart is offerings doorbusters at 8 p.m. on Thursday, then electronics will go on sale at 10 p.m. and then another round of deals starts at 5 a.m. Same with Target, 9 p.m. and 4 a.m.
Tuesday November 20, 2012 11:58 Laura Gunderson
11:58
Laura Gunderson: 
Here's full rundown of mall and retailer hours around the Portland area
http://www.oregonlive.com/window-shop/index.ssf/2012/11/portland_area_store_and_mall_o.html
Tuesday November 20, 2012 11:58 Laura Gunderson
11:59
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
What item is going to fly off the shelf more than all others?
Tuesday November 20, 2012 11:59 Guest
11:59
Laura Gunderson: 
And, there are still a good number of discounts available over the weekend!
Tuesday November 20, 2012 11:59 Laura Gunderson
11:59
Laura Gunderson: 
OK, top items vary of course on who you're recipients are, of course
Tuesday November 20, 2012 11:59 Laura Gunderson
11:59
Laura Gunderson: 
But Walmart is betting on three top items.
Tuesday November 20, 2012 11:59 Laura Gunderson
12:00
Laura Gunderson: 
The retailer says it's best-selling gifts are
Apple iPad®2 16GB with Wi-Fi – $399 plus get a $75 Walmart Gift Card
Emerson® 32” 720p LCD TV – $148
LG® Blu-ray™ Player – $38
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:00 Laura Gunderson
12:00
Laura Gunderson: 
And it's going to guarantee that anyone who stands in line starting at 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving will get one of 'em
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:00 Laura Gunderson
12:00
[Comment From MiaMia: ] 
Where can I find good deals on Black Friday without having to fight the crowds?
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:00 Mia
12:00
Laura Gunderson: 
Mia,
On your couch online
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:00 Laura Gunderson
12:01
Laura Gunderson: 
Actually, Kohls.com is offering its Black Friday prices starting tomorrow at 1 p.m.
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:01 Laura Gunderson
12:01
Laura Gunderson: 
Nearly all retailers are offering their Black Friday deals online, most earlier than the stores
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:01 Laura Gunderson
12:01
[Comment From MiaMia: ] 
If I want to head to one of the malls on Friday, and not be overwhelmed by the crowds, when would be a better time to go? Later in the day? Are retailers planning sales later in the day? Or are the good deals only in the morning?
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:01 Mia
12:02
Laura Gunderson: 
Mia,
Walmart and other big retailers say their best hour last year was between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. i.e. that's the worst time to go out.
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:02 Laura Gunderson
12:02
Laura Gunderson: 
When I was in malls last year, crowds settle down between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m.
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:02 Laura Gunderson
12:03
Laura Gunderson: 
Also, Lloyd Center was less crowded last year than Washington Square or Clackamas Town Center, but of course, that could change this year since Lloyd is offering "Turkey Bowling" on its ice rink at midnight and 2 a.m.
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:03 Laura Gunderson
12:03
[Comment From ChatterChatter: ] 
Does Apple get in on the game, or do folks have to go to the big boxes to load up on iThings?
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:03 Chatter
12:03
Laura Gunderson: 
Chatter,
Nope, Apple's doing it too. Just not as early. The Bridgeport store is opening at 8 a.m. and I believe that's true of its other stores, too. Though double-check Pioneer Place, as it doesn't often do much with Black Friday
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:03 Laura Gunderson
12:04
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Are there particular classes of merchandise – toys, jewelry, tech – that tend to be discounted the most?
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:04 Guest
12:04
Laura Gunderson: 
That really varies among retailers. Toys are good, definitely as are apparel items and certain consumer electronics.
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:04 Laura Gunderson
12:05
Laura Gunderson: 
Black Friday is one of the biggest shopping days and weekends. But it's not always the best day of prices for shoppers. There was a great story earlier this year in the Wall Street Journal about how sales on Black Friday can be good, but they're usually not retailers' best prices. The report found best prices on a number of popular gifts are found throughout the year.

The report looked at prices at Amazon.com, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Macy's Inc. and found prices were good in the fall but but slowly increase through the end of December.
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:05 Laura Gunderson
12:05
[Comment From ChatterChatter: ] 
What's the vibe like downtown on Thursday night and Friday, for those of us unlucky enough to show up to work on Black Friday? Fewer mad shoppers, as we don't have a big box yet (until Target opens), or still a madhouse?
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:05 Chatter
12:05
Laura Gunderson: 
Chatter,
Downtown is dead. Pioneer Place usually doesn't open real early. The Macy's parade is the only real issue for you.,
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:05 Laura Gunderson
12:06
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Can you get all these same deals online?
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:06 Guest
12:06
Laura Gunderson: 
Yes, you can most all the deals online.
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:06 Laura Gunderson
12:06
The Oregonian: 
All lines are open. Send in your questions and comments now!
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:06 The Oregonian
12:07
Laura Gunderson: 
As I said earlier, most retailers have already posted their ads online and some will start honoring them as early as Wednesday (Kohl's), others start the sales online by Thanksgiving morning.
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:07 Laura Gunderson
12:07
[Comment From MichaelMichael: ] 
Have you seen any studies that show just how much extra retailers are making by opening on Thanksgiving Day? Some people are mad that they open so early not letting families celebrate thanksgiving.
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:07 Michael
12:07
[Comment From ChatterChatter: ] 
What do you think the earlier shopping hours are doing to Thanksgiving proper? Do people shut down the family festivities and run out in the rain together to collect trinkets en masse, or -- for those more tech-minded -- gather around their computers in the living room to point-and-click their way through the night?
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:07 Chatter
12:07
Laura Gunderson: 
What's tough is retailers don't break out sales for one day, or for one weekend for that matter.
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:07 Laura Gunderson
12:08
Laura Gunderson: 
However, most retail researchers say the weekend is very important for getting shoppers into stores -- part of their push to keep people in brick-and-mortar as opposed to doing online only.
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:08 Laura Gunderson
12:08
Laura Gunderson: 
Most retail experts say that retailers do have to participate in Black Friday to remain competitive. Of course there has been backlash this year, especially with Walmart
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:08 Laura Gunderson
12:09
Laura Gunderson: 
That said, I'm out at those late-night and early-morning hours and there are lots of shoppers who seem to like it, too.
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:09 Laura Gunderson
12:09
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
What are brick-and-mortar stores doing to combat Amazon?
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:09 Guest
12:09
Laura Gunderson: 
Great question.

Ad matching is an interesting program that's been expanded by several retailers this year. Retailers are offering extended policies over the holidays because they want to win over the people who come into their stores to look at something or try it on, but then search their phones for a better price and buy it online. Target and Best Buy will match online retailers, such as Amazon.com, that was unheard of in the past.
http://www.oregonlive.com/window-shop/index.ssf/2012/11/target_and_best_buy_will_match.html

Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:09 Laura Gunderson
12:10
Laura Gunderson: 
And, one more thing about who's out and what kind of sales we're talking about:

A lot of people are out on Thankgsiving/Black Friday but more people are out on the Saturday and Sunday over the following weekend. In the retail trade group survey, about 22 percent of folks said they'd be out on Thanksgiving/Black Friday, while 40 percent (a group that includes some of those earlier shoppers) will be out over the weekend.
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:10 Laura Gunderson
12:10
Laura Gunderson: 
that was a National Retail Federation survey
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:10 Laura Gunderson
12:11
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
What’s the best way to get the deals AND avoid the mayhem, short of alienating all your friends and family so you don’t have to buy gifts?
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:11 Guest
12:11
Laura Gunderson: 
Again, I'd say go online. Local retailers would also like it if I said something like this:

There's a national event called Small Business Saturday over the Thanksgiving weekend. And there's a locally organized event on Friday and Saturday called Little Boxes, which involves about 170 small retailers.
Here's more on both of those events http://www.oregonlive.com/window-shop/index.ssf/2012/11/retail_spotlight_events_encour.html

Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:11 Laura Gunderson
12:11
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Does the stock market respond to how well or poorly Black Friday goes?
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:11 Guest
12:13
Laura Gunderson: 
It responds later on, when retailers announce how their overall sales in November went. Even more so in January, when they can report fourth-quarter sales from the holiday shopping season on the whole, which is considered all sales from November and December.
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:13 Laura Gunderson
12:13
The Oregonian: 
What are families expected to spend on average this year?
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:13 The Oregonian
12:14
Laura Gunderson: 
The National Retail Federation commissions a poll each holiday season in which they talk to about 9,400 shoppers. Based on that, they make a guess at what families will spend. This year the trade group says the poll shows folks will spend about $750 on gifts, decorations and food.

Overall, based on the survey and forecasts for auto sales, which are included in the data for the first time this year, the trade group expects retail sales in November and December to increase by 4 percent from last year to about $586.1 billion.
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:14 Laura Gunderson
12:14
The Oregonian: 
Laura, do you have any tips on how best to manage on Black Friday?
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:14 The Oregonian
12:15
Laura Gunderson: 

Actually, I just wrote about that today. I interviewed several managers from local malls and asked them their advice on where to park and navigate their malls while shopping on Black Friday.

The manager at Woodburn offered up some alternate routes into Woodburn Company Stores, which opens this year at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving. And there are a few tips on good parking spots at Washington Square and Clackamas Town Center.

http://www.oregonlive.com/window-shop/index.ssf/2012/11/post_4.html


Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:15 Laura Gunderson
12:16
[Comment From ChatterChatter: ] 
Is that $750 just on Black Friday, or overall -- if the families spend more money later?
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:16 Chatter
12:16
Laura Gunderson: 
That's for the entire November-December holiday shopping season and it's for gifts, decoration and food for parties/family gatherings.
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:16 Laura Gunderson
12:16
[Comment From MiaMia: ] 
Will we be able to follow sale action on Twitter? Will stores be sending out special deals that way?
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:16 Mia
12:17
Laura Gunderson: 
Mia,
So glad you asked!
We'll be out at Clackamas Town Center, Lloyd Center and Washington Square on Black Friday, as well as discounters Walmart, Toys 'R Us, Kmart and Target. Join me tweeting (@lgunderson) at #PDXBlackFri
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:17 Laura Gunderson
12:17
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Is BF just a big-box national chain phenomenon or are Portland's indie stores involved?
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:17 Guest
12:17
Laura Gunderson: 
There are many events in the neighborhoods
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:17 Laura Gunderson
12:18
Laura Gunderson: 
The folks who own the Betsy & Iya boutique in NW Portland launched Little Boxes last year, a sale on Friday and Saturday
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:18 Laura Gunderson
12:18
Laura Gunderson: 
There's also Small Business Saturday. A listing of local retailers and restaurants is at ShopSmall.com
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:18 Laura Gunderson
12:19
Laura Gunderson: 
Lastly, go to VenturePortland online, where there's a list of retail events locally.

I"ll be posting all those events on my blog, oregonlive.com/window-shop later this afternoon
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:19 Laura Gunderson
12:19
Laura Gunderson: 
And, here's what I wrote about them this weekend
http://www.oregonlive.com/window-shop/index.ssf/2012/11/retail_spotlight_events_encour.html

Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:19 Laura Gunderson
12:19
[Comment From ChatterChatter: ] 
Last year the madness of Black Friday's mob mentality frenzy led to some crazy incidents, including a pepper spray fiasco. Are Portlanders too hippie or Zen to succumb to those types of antics, or should savvy shoppers be ready with some protective gear this year?
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:19 Chatter
12:20
Laura Gunderson: 
I've hit Black Fridays for the past six years as I've covered retail and I've never seen anything like that here.

There was a scuffle in 2010 I believe in a Toys 'R Us parking lot over a toy, but we've never had pepper sprays, shootings or a trampling into a doorbuster sale.

Let's hope everyone's Zen enough this year to keep that record up!
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:20 Laura Gunderson
12:21
Laura Gunderson: 
Interesting that this year, for what I believe was the first time, OSHA put out a warning that retailers should do more training to keep employees and shoppers safe on Black Friday.
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:21 Laura Gunderson
12:21
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
What is the one store or mall you would go to, or that offers the best experience?
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:21 Guest
12:22
Laura Gunderson: 
Well, as I said, Lloyd Center will have a "turkey bowling" event this year at midnight and 2 a.m. I'm a sucker for sliding plastic-wrapped poultry on an ice rink.
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:22 Laura Gunderson
12:22
Laura Gunderson: 
But also, Clackamas Town Center and Westfield Vancouver are offering free music, food and goodies to folks who show up at 11. Their stores open at midnight.
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:22 Laura Gunderson
12:23
Laura Gunderson: 
Most of those malls have restaurants open during those hours. Last year, the food courts at most malls were packed with teen-age shoppers and looked a bit like a high school cafeteria. In a fun way.
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:23 Laura Gunderson
12:23
Laura Gunderson: 
But they typically don't offer deals.
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:23 Laura Gunderson
12:24
Laura Gunderson: 
Restaurants participating in Small Business Saturday might offer deals, and folks who have American Express cards and use them that day can qualify for $25 credits on their cards. (if you pre-register at ShopSmall.com)
https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/Shop-Small/
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:24 Laura Gunderson
12:24
[Comment From MiaMia: ] 
Are restaurants getting in on Black Friday, too?
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:24 Mia
12:24
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Do you have recommendations of small, independent stores to go to?
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:24 Guest
12:25
[Comment From ChatterChatter: ] 
Do any high-end stores or boutiques offer an anti-BF experience? I know we're not Manhattan, but are there any luxury or boutique venues appealing to shoppers looking for a calmer, if pricier, shopping day on Friday? Maybe some tea and crumpets in the eye of the storm?!!
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:25 Chatter
12:25
Laura Gunderson: 
The Little Boxes event is fun because once you buy something at one, you get a 10 percent off discount at another. And, there are more than 170 stores involved, so it's a good mix.

They also have a big raffle and are giving away an iPad as well as other vacations.
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:25 Laura Gunderson
12:26
Laura Gunderson: 
Chatter, I'd say your crumpet would best be found at Bridgeport Village.
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:26 Laura Gunderson
12:26
The Oregonian: 
We're going to go for about another 10 minutes. Send in your questions and comments now!
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:26 The Oregonian
12:26
Laura Gunderson: 
The Tigard/Tualatin mall only has a few retailers doing crack-of-dawn sales, including Saks Fifth Avenue Off-Fifth. But other stores there open at regular hours.
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:26 Laura Gunderson
12:27
Laura Gunderson: 
Here's a list of hours at local malls and stores and Chatter, I'll add the luxury folks as I find them...

http://www.oregonlive.com/window-shop/index.ssf/2012/11/portland_area_store_and_mall_o.html
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:27 Laura Gunderson
12:28
Laura Gunderson: 
Also, Nordstrom, which every year promises it won't put up Xmas decorations until after Thanksgiving, is opening at 8 a.m. this year. A much more civilized hour.
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:28 Laura Gunderson
12:29
The Oregonian: 
Any more questions out there?
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:29 The Oregonian
12:29
Laura Gunderson: 
Again,don't forget to chat with us on Thanksgiving night and Black Friday morn. We'll be posting news reports and stories at Oregonlive.com/window-shop, and be tweeting (i'm @lgunderson) at #PdxBlackFri
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:29 Laura Gunderson
12:30
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
I'm homeless. No shopping money. Where can I get some presents for my son this Christmas?
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:30 Guest
12:31
Laura Gunderson: 
I think freecycle.com is a good place to try, also many of the nonprofits with local chapters, including Salvation Army and Goodwill, collect toys from businesses throughout the year and help families in need of gifts.
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:31 Laura Gunderson
12:31
Laura Gunderson: 
Thank you all for joining in and don't hesitate to send me your thoughts and what you see out there through the holiday season at lgunderson@oregonian.com
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:31 Laura Gunderson
12:31
The Oregonian: 
Thanks everyone for participating. Happy shopping!
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:31 The Oregonian
 
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