“This was easy,” she said.
Retailers did their best to part consumers from their cash. Old Navy, Sears and J.C. Penney are just a few of the stores that were offering free merchandise, food or entertainment at the door.
Best Buy treated bargain hunters at 120 of its stores to an outdoor screening of the final Harry Potter movie. The Westfield Wheaton mall hired a DJ and passed out fuel food: candy canes, Nutri-Grain bars and bottles of 5-Hour Energy.
The mall opened at midnight for Black Friday for the first time ever — one of 15 Westfield properties across the country, including the nearby Montgomery mall, to do so.
Sidney Woods, marketing director at Westfield Wheaton, said the decision was made after some early-rising retailers last year reported a double-digit sales increase. In a sluggish economic climate, every transaction is paramount.
Not everyone shopping on Black Friday was on the hunt for a deal, however. Architect Gavin Daniels slept in Friday morning while his wife hit the big-box stores. His turn to shop came that afternoon.
Daniels was one of the first customers at the new Black Room at the Georgetown boutique Lost Boys. The members-only shop launched Friday as an antidote to the Black Friday bonanza, owner Kelly Muccio said.
“Everyone’s going to get these deals, but what we’re doing is the exact opposite,” she said. “Less is more. . . . All you need is perfection.”
Perfection doesn’t come cheap. Appointments, which include personal styling and consultation as well as a cocktail or two, run between $600 to $1,000 and feature apparel not typically available in the store.
“How am I supposed to wrap this scarf?” Daniels asked Muccio as he modeled potential outfits for the holiday party for the firm he founded, Wingate Hughes.
Muccio instructed him on the art of the carefully draped (never knotted) scarf before bringing out a pair of winning brown wingtips.
“Do you love the shoes?” Muccio asked.
“I’m going to wear them home, probably,” Daniels responded, sipping his second cocktail.
Staff writers Ylan Q. Mui, Michael S. Rosenwald, Abha Bhattarai and Olga Khazan contributed to this report.