Local News

Shoppers Get Malled Day After Thanksgiving

Posted November 25, 1999 6:00 a.m. EST

— Millions of people across the country have been up and out since the crack of dawn, creating the crowds they hope to avoid as the holiday tradition of day-after-Thanksgiving shopping begins.

The doors opened at 6 a.m. atCary Towne Center, and shoppers were ready for those early-bird bargains. So were retailers, who say customers demand them.

"We do just a tremendous business in this first hour. The first year was successful, so we've repeated it the next two years," said Mike Thompson, Hudson Belk manager.

AtCrabtree Valley Mallin Raleigh, many people were looking and shopping for ideas.

The Krichko family spent the day browsing the stores. "It's extremely busy," Melanie Krichko said. "It's what I expected."

The bright baubles of Christmas attract shoppers and keep cash registers buzzing up sales, which are expected to be five to six percent higher than last year.

"Shoppers are mostly buying, which is great for us, but they are also looking to get some ideas," Lori Morrison, store manager, said. "We see a lot of women and men with their Christmas lists, filling them out for their loved ones."

There are more shopping days until Christmas this year, but the rush of the season pushes children and adults to get a jump on the gift-buying challenge.

That rush also created several parking hassles as people clogged up the traffic lanes at Crabtree Valley Mall, creating tie-ups throughout the parking lots. At Kay-Bee Toys, they handed out numbers to people waiting for Pokemon products and other hard-to-find toys.

"We are going to try to take care of as many people as we can, but unfortunately, we're not going to be able to take care of all of you," shoppers were told.

Some shoppers filled up bags with everything they could find. Others were just happy to get what they came for, especially if it was Pokemon-related.

"She's the hottest item this year, and we have not been able to find her at Toys 'R Us or anywhere," shopper Ellie Arnold said about the Ally character.

Many people looked for those elusive toys at the Cary Target. They got there before sunrise and were greeted with coffee and donuts.

"I think a lot of them want the Pokemon video game, the Pokemon yellow gameboy game," said Target manager Kyle Smith. "They're advertised on sale, and we got a big shipment of them in, so I imagine that's creating a lot of excitement."

It sure did. -->

Shoppers also packed Fayetteville'sCross Creek Mall; some people said they were actually looking forward to the crowds and confusion.

"The traffic and the people make it even more festive and fun. Just coming out and being part of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, that's what it's all about," said shopper Donna Hardy.

The malls were not the only hot spot Friday. Many people packed local gyms hoping to work off those extra calories they consumed Thursday.

But health club officials say those morning-after workouts can be fruitless. Paul Kennedy says the best solution is to eat sensibly on Thanksgiving and to exercise regularly throughout the year.