The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Shoppers pound pavement for perfect presents

Black Friday spilled over to bargain hunting at small businesses on Saturday.


November 26, 2017

Shoppers at the Portales Wal-Mart found Black Friday bargains without the rush typically associated with the “holiday.”

Mark Hernandez of Clovis went to Portales on Friday to find bargains that he couldn’t get at home, and walked away with cookery, bedding, a deep fryer, and — his favorite — two laptop computers.

Hernandez and his family participated in Black Friday “maybe five, 10 years ago,” and decided to return because of the new found ease of shopping during the weekend.

“Of course, Black Friday’s extended out now, where back then it was first thing Friday morning. Now, it starts Thursday afternoon,” he said. “This year, we come out, and we managed to get plenty of bargains and not have to be here at 6 in the morning, 5 in the morning.”

Friends and family brought Miguel Gomez of Madill, Oklahoma, to Portales for the weekend, but he found himself at Wal-Mart at the request of his daughter.

“For my little girl, I got this little kitchen set, and she’s been wanting this ‘Doc McStuffins’ (playset),” he said.

After witnessing Black Friday in El Paso — “It was just too crazy for me,” he said — Gomez was hesitant to attend another one.

“I thought it was gonna be worse. My daughter said, ‘It don’t even look like it’s packed.’ It wasn’t bad at all.”

In Clovis, crowds were out, but families could still find elbow room in the shops on Main Street.

“I think they’re distracted,” said Aimee Zunich, referring to those elsewhere in town, such as the mall. Zunich was out Saturday afternoon with her family, a weekly errand to their local shops downtown that she said benefited this weekend from other shoppers being diverted to the bigger sales up the road.

“We are frequent shoppers on Main Street. (The stores here) seem to have something for someone who has everything,” said Jane Canchola. “I’m getting a little more frugal with my Christmas shopping. The price doesn’t matter; it’s the sentiment behind it. If three gifts were good enough for Jesus, why shouldn’t that be enough for the rest of us?”

Others came to the stores on Main Street from out of town Saturday, some for shopping on the holiday weekend and others to pass time with loved ones.

Spencer Hampton, who came to the area this summer for a contracting job with Cannon Air Force Base, took his wife Christine to visit those stores during her visit from California.

“There’s so much random cool stuff out here,” he said. “I really liked looking at the old alcohol bottles — they had some with military themes, even one that looked like Mount Rushmore.”

Mother and daughter pair Carla Phipps and Jennifer Vallejo ventured in from Hereford and smiled over their finds: a jazzy, vintage Santa Claus doll playing the saxophone in his original packaging and a metal lunchbox dressed up with the Coca-Cola logo.

Phipps said she’s spending less on Christmas gifts this year, saving money for a trip to the mountains with the family.

The holiday weekend provided a rare window for Yolanda Lemus to come in from Lubbock and browse Clovis’ antique shops for decorative angels. Another visitor eyeballing specific items, Bridget Milner, was in town Saturday on a visit from Florida to see her daughter, a freshman at Eastern New Mexico University. She bought some doilies, but her main interest was for old dolls that could use some rehabilitation.

For Lupe Lacy, criss-crossing Main Street with a friend, it was a prime time for buying gifts.

“This is amazing,” she said. “I got a red jacket, a few small things and two pairs of pants for my sister-in-law.”

Outside downtown, the larger stores stayed busy. David Gallegos helped load a new dining room set with leather-cushioned chairs into his family truck. He abstained from Black Friday but still found some deals, and said he still has a ways to go with holiday shopping.

Francisco Gonzales, of Friona, had a similar idea. He said he dreads the crowds usually associated with the post-Thanksgiving shopping blitz but found Saturday a better time to buy wrapping paper and scoop up remaining deals.

“I wasn’t at Black Friday at all. I think ‘hermit’ is the word. I don’t like crowds and I prefer keeping to myself,” he said. “But I still need to shop for my family.”


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