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November 16, 2012

Union Square's Black Friday 2012 Survival Guide

So, you’ve made the decision; you’re going to do Black Friday this year. In San Francisco, we do pretty much everything a little differently, and Black Friday is no exception. Of course, we offer the same sales and long hours as many of the other Black Friday hot spots, but instead of spending your whole day shopping in a strip mall, you can also take advantage of fun holiday events, a picturesque cable car ride, our outdoor ice skating rink and more. Here’s our guide to a fun and strategic Black Friday.

Get some Z’s - Take advantage of that tryptophan (the stuff in turkey that makes you sleepy) calm and go to bed early, so you can get up and hit the shops. Some stores even open at midnight after Thanksgiving, so the earlier you hit the shops, the better.

Public Transit is Your Friend – Yes, there are several parking garages in the Union Square area, and here’s a list if you do drive, but, if you ask us, the best way to get here is by BART, CalTrain or MUNI. You don’t have to pay for parking or worry about time limits, and they bring you right to the foot of Powell and Market St., a perfect starting point. Here’s info on how to get here by public transit.

Have a Plan of Attack – We’ve done our best to put together the most comprehensive list of all the Black Friday happenings in Union Square (even though some stores don’t release the info until the last minute). Use this as your guide to the many prizes you can find in our neighborhood.

Boutiques Give Deals too – You might think of the larger department stores like Macy’s, Loehman’s and H&M when you think of Black Friday, but many of Union Square’s smaller boutiques (Like London Sole, Ted Baker and Alessi) are also having sales. This is a great time to grab that perfect holiday dress or designer scarf for your mother.

Know who you’re Shopping for – If you’re planning to get gifts, it never hurts to do a little prep by finding out what your friends and family want this year. Is it luxurious bath products from Fresh? A new cashmere sweater? An Hermes scarf? It never hurts to ask.

Take Advantage of Holiday Happenings – Black Friday isn’t just a shopping day in Union Square. You can also catch the Macy’s holiday tree lighting ceremony, a showing of A Christmas Carol at A.C.T., the Illuminique light show at the Westfield SF Centre, an ice skating session, or there’s even a burlesque show at the Rrazz Room this year. Visit our events page for a full list.

Don’t be too Serious – In San Francisco, we never take shopping too seriously. Yes, we’re here to score deals, stock up on fabulous designer clothes and grab gifts for friends and family, but we’re not here to knock down old ladies to get the last designer bag on sale! Relax and enjoy yourself. Know that there will be other sales, and the most important goal is to have fun!

Take time to Eat, Drink and be Merry – We suggest you make reservations at a top notch restaurant like Scala’s Bistro, Claudine, Cupola or any of your local favorites. Then, make time to stop by one of our favorite lounges for some rest – maybe the Burritt Room or Jasper’s Corner Tap. We bet if you ask nicely they’ll make you a hot toddy. You can even make a night of it and stay in a luxurious hotel room somewhere like the Westin St. Francis or the Hotel Rex.

With these tools in mind, you’re sure to have a fantastic day of deal-finding and enjoying the holiday cheer in Union Square. Happy shopping!