Frugality, bargains and plenty of places to park.
Black Friday unfolded at Sacramento's Westfield Downtown Plaza this morning with less-than-overwhelming crowds and a sense that the economic downturn is for real.
"I'm looking for deals and I'm not buying as much," Deanne Velasco of Rio Linda said as she clutched a KB Toy bag containing a train set for her young son. She runs a crafts business, an industry that she said has been hit hard by the recession.
A little before 8 a.m., the only sense of frenzy was at Forever 21, where 40 or so women were lined up the store's opening. Otherwise, things were orderly, maybe downright peaceful.
Janet Handley of Elk Grove was buying clothing for her two college-age children and acknowledging that things are iffy this year. She's a curriculum director for the public schools in Benicia - a position that she says could be on the chopping block if the district needs to cut back. She's cutting back as a precaution.
"I'm going to do about a third less than what we would normally do," she said.
Robert and Deneen Brown, a Seattle couple visiting family, were done shopping a little after 8 a.m. "We only have three bag," Deneen said. Before, we would have had a carload."