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Find Fantastic Deals at the Factory Sale

The Holiday Factory Sale is Watsonville's version of Black Friday. Doors open at 9 a.m.

Shoppers come with garbage bags to haul out the great deals they find. Tour busses stopped coming because riders couldn't fit all of their purchases on bus.

This is not Black Friday. 

It's the annual , and it starts at 9 a.m. sharp Saturday.

"We get a ton of people here," said Kelley Lehner, owner of Klub Nico footwear, one of the 14 Watsonville businesses taking part in the factory sale.

Calling the event a sale is an understatements. For example, last season's Klub Nico designs will be 60-plus percent off. Sassy ankle boots that retail for $210 are less than $100. Sample shoes go for even less; some are just $10-$15.

"We make a lot of women happy," Lehner said.

The factory sale started more than a decade ago as a way to showcase Watsonville-area businesses that don't normally retail directly to the public. For example, Martinelli's will open its warehouse, offering its apple cider products at distributor prices.

“You can’t typically go to these places and purchase,” said Doug Mattos, senior administrative analyst for the city of Watsonville.

Mattos coordinates the sale and the city markets it, but fees paid by the vendors cover all the promotion costs. The city nets sales tax revenue from the day, as well as bump in patrons to downtown restaurants.

Klub Nico's designer handbags and shoes "are very popular with the ladies," Mattos said.

He advertises in affluent communities, like Carmel and Monterey, to attract out-of-towners with cash to spend and "so people can realize the treasures we have in the Pajaro Valley," he said.

Three wineries are participating for the first time this year, along with Watsonville's beloved Annieglass and a host of small operations most Watsonville residents probably have never heard of like La Selva Designs and Farr West Designer Lingerie.

Baker Bros. is donating a portion of its building at 55 Brennan St. to house several vendors who don't have a local space appropriate for the sale, including Klub Nico. Baker Bros. also will be participating, offering end-of-the-year closeouts. Other businesses are selling from their warehouses and offices. 

Mattos said a lot of people plan their holiday shopping around the sale and this year is one of the biggest ever.

"It's a great deal if people can make it," said Lehner, who was still unpacking her sale shoes with help from her crew on Friday evening. "It's a good event."

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