Outlet stores

Buyers browse outlet stores for Black Friday deals

SAN MARCOS – Live DJs, free coffee, and of course big discounts have drawn thousands of buyers to premium outlets in San Marcos on Thanksgiving night and throughout Black Friday.

As store workers and security guards enjoyed a brief lull in the sales-hungry crowd early Friday, the controlled chaos returned almost as quickly as traffic receded on Interstate 35 access road.

Before noon arrived, Paula Navarro was standing in front of Starbucks and surveying two shopping carts her family had already filled with over $ 7,000 in designer bags, shoes and other items.

“Yesterday we went to Walmart and got a big TV, three GoPro (cameras), a Bose speaker,” the 17-year-old said Friday.

“So tomorrow we’ll go to North Star (Mall) and Wonderland of the Americas. It’s a busy week. All shopping, all week, ”added Navarro from Guadalajara, Mexico.

When asked how they plan to relax for the rest of their vacation, her 25-year-old sister, Ximena Navarro, replied, “More shopping.

The Navarros joined hundreds of other international visitors who traveled to San Marcos to enjoy one of America’s busiest shopping days of the year.

Of the mall’s nearly 150 stores, more than 25 brands – including Lululemon Athletica, Prada, and The North Face – are exclusive to the Simon Property and cannot be found anywhere else in Texas.

That’s why Saudi Arabia’s Maryam Malibari bypassed Dallas malls by car from Oklahoma on her college vacation. She booked a hotel room in San Marcos and slept less than three hours Thursday night to make the most of the bargains on offer at the outlet stores.

“I’m not very tired,” she said, clutching several bags. “It’s easy to keep going when I’m doing something I love: shopping. “

Not everyone shared his enthusiasm.

Outside and in the food court, many men flipped through their smartphones and appeared restless as the women in their family searched the shelves at their favorite stores.

Aguedo Mendez and his 10-year-old son found a cure for boredom in a new schnauzer puppy they watched playing in a patch of grass.

“My wife is the boss, man,” San Antonian, 31, said. “We’ve been here for about an hour and a half, so multiply that by two or three and we won’t be leaving until.”

“Before, we had to stay in the car or get stuck holding bags inside,” Mendez added. “Now we have the puppy. “

Victor Hiller also seemed a little less than excited to be at the mall.

On Friday morning, the Elegant Limosine driver fell asleep listening to the radio alone in a shuttle carrying just six buyers from St. Mary’s University.

“I don’t need anything in there,” Hiller said of the stores. “I have about two hours before they come back (so) I might just fall asleep again.”

In neighboring Tanger Outlets, a son and his father used their entrepreneurial spirit to make the most of the day.

Brandon Peterson, 29, started smoking brisket and sausage around 4 p.m. Thursday in the parking lot near the Cracker Barrel. Its food truck, an offshoot of 4 Mooses BBQ Catering based in San Marcos, has greeted queues of impatient shoppers fleeing the hot, sweaty and crowded stores.

“Too much shopping can make you hungry,” observed Peterson.

He and his father have spent every weekend during every holiday season at the mall for the past seven years. And like many shoppers there, the barbecue duo saw Black Friday as their tradition.

“It really is a family affair,” Petson said. “My dad’s dad taught him how to (barbecue). He taught me, so we thought it was just a good opportunity to make some extra money.

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Twitter: @nealtmorton

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