Back for the bargains; Shoppers off to the holiday races
Published 12:00 pm Friday, November 25, 2016
Five-year-old Gabby jumped up and down in Shopko’s electronic department Thursday, eager to help her siblings Ryan, 11, and Rachel, 10, Drees find a 32-inch smart TV
“I like scanning,” she exclaimed, as she was looking at the prices to spot the best deals.
The family was just one of countless across Austin and the country that kicked off the holiday shopping season by looking for Black Friday — or Brown Thursday — deals on Thanksgiving.
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Shopko para-manager Kelli Miller got the chance to stop outside and chat with shoppers as a line formed outside the store starting around 2:30 p.m. ahead of the 4 p.m. opening. The line stretched to the stop sign between Shopko and Hy-Vee.
Miller described the people as cordial and excited for the shopping experience.
“The people are embracing it,” Miller said. “I think they like coming out here after the dinner and the family events.”
Most large retailers like Shopko, Wal-Mart and Target are still opening on Thanksgiving for Black Friday deals, while some retailers and the Mall of America shunned the early opening this year to instead open on Friday.
However, Miller said the Thanksgiving shopping isn’t likely to change.
“I think the 5 a.m. Black Friday is the past,” she added. “I think this is the in thing now.”
Shopko offered $10 gift cards to the first 100 customers, and the retailer divvied out coupon books to give shoppers deals through the rest of the holiday season. The store’s deals lasted through 1 p.m. Friday.
Miller noted the prep for festivities can be busy and stressful; however, she enjoys kicking off the holidays.
“Once it’s done and we see our customers and we can make out customers happy and they come back, and the holiday season is starting, that’s the best part,” Miller said. “And the rest of the season is awesome.”
Most shoppers were out with family Thursday. After a Thanksgiving meal in Albert Lea, Lisa Frein stopped out to Shopko with her daughter, Kayla, 5, and her mom, Gail.
Her shopping cart was filled with a new booster seat, a comforter, rugs, pillows and other decorations items she needed after recently buying a house.
“The line was a little intimidating at first,” she said.
While she noted the long line was intimidating at first, she described the atmosphere at Shopko as pleasant as shoppers embraced the holiday season.
“Everything ran smoothly and there were enough carts and people are pleasant so that’s been nice,” she said.
Frein and her family planned to enjoy a low-key Thanksgiving meal together on Friday before breaking out the holiday goodies by making cookies and Chex mix
“A lot of baking tomorrow,” she said.