News - McHenry County

Black Friday shoppers in McHenry County nab deals on toys, appliances and gifts for themselves

Rich Toepper, of Woodstock, talks with Avant Cycle shop manager Kyle Busse while shopping at the bike shop during the Lighting of the Square event Friday, Nov. 25, 2022, in Woodstock. The annual event featured brass music, caroling, free doughnuts and cider, food trucks, festive selfie stations and shopping.

Warm temperatures and bright sunny skies had shoppers such as Kathy and Angelo Lombardo out on Black Friday in Algonquin taking advantage of good prices on toys for their grandchildren.

“We found everything we wanted,” said Kathy, of Algonquin, as she and her husband were leaving Kohl’s and headed over to Menards.

They were looking to score on items, such as slipper socks for about $3 a pair, to stash away for unexpected holiday guests.

The couple ventured out about 9:30 a.m., a little later than previous Black Fridays, but they said they still found some good deals.

For their grandchildren, they purchased a Little Tikes basketball net, regularly priced at $29.99, for $19.99 and Hot Wheels cars, regularly $9.99, for $4.99.

Tammie Moriarty of Huntley said she is keeping up the tradition of shopping Black Fridays that she and her sister-in-law shared with her mother-in-law, who has since died.

Moriarty said she was the first car in the parking lot at Target on Friday morning, expecting the store to be open at 6 a.m. Instead, she found an empty parking lot and shopping carts up against the entrance doors. She quickly learned, to her surprise, that this year the store was opening at 7 a.m.

Major retailers, including Target, again closed their stores on Thanksgiving, pushing discounts on their websites instead, The Associated Press reported.

Dianne Wilson, of Lake Zurich, looks at a book while shopping at Read Between the Lynes during the Lighting of the Square event Friday, Nov. 25, 2022, in Woodstock. The annual event featured brass music, caroling, free doughnuts and cider, food trucks, festive selfie stations and shopping.

Moriarty said she found most of what she was looking for at good sale prices, including a riding toy she bought at Kohl’s for her first grandchild, regularly priced at $35, on sale Friday for $19.99. She also got a Kitchenaid ice cream maker attachment on sale for $74.99, regularly priced at $99.99.

Although she was enjoying the day, leaving Kohl’s for the second time Friday and headed to lunch before stops at JCPenney and Costco, she said she was disappointed at the lack of advertising in the newspaper this year. She and her family would spend much of Thanksgiving thumbing through the ad pages, planning their Black Friday shopping and circling items they hoped to receive for Christmas.

Bernice Camacho of Elgin was shopping with her 8-year-old daughter Ruby on Friday. Camacho was taking advantage of the day’s sales to buy herself a few gifts, such as a new pair of boots and shirts. Ruby was hopeful she would find Barbies and a pink bicycle for Christmas.

Camacho said that although she was finding good sales, lines at Victoria’s Secret at Algonquin Commons were too long and going too slow. That was at about 11 a.m., but Elizabeth Mock, who started her day at 6 a.m., said that when she made her purchases earlier in the day, there were maybe one or two people ahead of her.

People walk around the Square during the Lighting of the Square Friday, Nov. 25, 2022, in Woodstock. The annual event featured brass music, caroling, free doughnuts and cider, food trucks, festive selfie stations and shopping

With inflation looming, the National Retail Federation – the largest retail trade group – expects holiday sales growth will slow to a range of 6% to 8%, from the 13.5% growth of a year ago, The AP reported. These figures, which include online spending, aren’t adjusted for inflation, however, so real spending could be down from a year ago.

Mock, of Poplar Grove, said she went to the Algonquin area to shop because there were more stores centrally located, making it easier to shop. It is her tradition to head out solo, leave her children home with her husband and wrap up all her Christmas shopping on Black Friday.

Mock, who grew up in McHenry, said she will spend about $400 on all her family’s Christmas presents this year. Main purchases Friday for her children – ages 3 and 7 – were science and craft projects for her older daughter and Paw Patrol toys for her younger daughter.

After Black Friday comes Small Business Saturday, and Amber Mullins, owner of Ms. Bossy Boots in downtown Crystal Lake, said she will have some specials awaiting shoppers.

Mullins, who also owns Shoelace Inc. at Algonquin Commons, said business was normal for a Friday in Crystal Lake. She said she is not sure what to expect Saturday, but she was pleasantly surprised how busy her Crystal Lake store was Wednesday.

Mullins said she still is working with a skeleton crew since the COVID-19 pandemic and is only open five of the seven days she used to be open.

As for what to expect Saturday, Mullins said, “it is hard to say how it will go. Anything in retail is very unpredictable.”