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Black Friday Notebook: Effects of the economy at the Americana and Glendale Galleria

Glendalegalleria Shoppers swarmed around the two-story-tall Christmas tree in the Glendale Galleria, where you couldn’t swing a shopping bag without hitting someone.

Not that Angelica Flores, 43, or her daughter Krystal, 17, could do that. The pair was carting three large bags from JCPenney and one from Target, all stuffed to the brim with a combined $180 worth of clothes.

It was Flores’ first Black Friday shopping trip and probably wouldn’t be her last. She rose at 4 a.m. to take advantage of the deals. 

Christmas, she said, was “going to be tougher this year.” Six months ago she switched to her current job as a legal secretary after taking two pay cuts in her previous position as a receptionist.

Pasadena resident Leigh Smyth, 43, got to the mall at 6 a.m. and spent $600 on Legos -- some for her son and many for the toy resale business she owns. But “the sales were dull this year, to be honest,” she said. “I looked at the promotions and didn’t get up at 4 a.m. like I always do.”

The nearby Americana at Brand shopping center was sparsely populated by 10:30 a.m.

Katrina Dean, 40, was strolling with her mother-in-law, but neither woman had bought anything.

“We’re feeling less secure, trying to be more financially prudent,” Dean said. “I don’t want my husband to work forever.... There’s always the pressure to overspend, but we’re trying to be smarter about it.”

At the Barnes & Noble store, Tom Kaun, 64, was checking out a Nook Color e-reader. The librarian, visiting his parents from Northern California, already owned the original Nook and the Kindle e-readers but was considering buying the $249 tablet at full price.

“Librarians in general in California are a dying breed,” he said. “But I work at a pretty prosperous school district and I’m two years from retirement, so I’m pretty secure.”

Also in a purchasing mood: David Bazelon, 35. The Loz Feliz resident, who works in visual effects for DreamWorks, had already spent $300 buying a used Xbox from GameStop and a jacket and skirt for his wife from J.Crew. His wife was inside an Anthropologie store and would probably spend another $300, he said.

“We’ve already spent more by now than we did the entire holiday last year,” he said.

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-- Shan Li

Photo: Martha Perez of Glendale relaxes for a moment at the Glendale Galleria. She had been shopping since 4 a.m. and was waiting for her daughter. Credit: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times

 
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