It was a mad dash to get the best bargains this morning as local retailers rolled out the red carpet for the first official day of Christmas shopping. Several retailers opened their doors as early as 5 a.m., offering storewide sales and other incentives to draw customers.
&#8220We had 200-300 people lined up outside the doors when we opened at 5 a.m.,” said Value City Store Manager Allan Fessler. &#8220The nice weather will place a factor into the crowds today. The nicer the weather, the bigger the crowd.”
Fessler said the first 500 customers through the door received coupons for $10 off any $20 purchase.
&#8220By 6 a.m. we were just about out of all of them,” Fessler said. &#8220This year it seems like more people are shopping for the electronics. The TVs, the DVD players and the video games are hot items. Everybody fights for the early bird specials.”
At 4:30 a.m. a line began to form in front of Sears. The first 25 customers this morning received gift cards worth $10.
&#8220I am opening up a new restaurant in Park Hills and I need to get a water softener,” said Marion Sollinger. &#8220We are calling it the Main Street Corner House.”
Other people in the Sears’ line, said they were there to buy tool kits or drills. The store offered several doorbuster items at half price.
Wal-Mart was also a popular spot to be this morning. Employees disbursed the doorbuster items beginning at 5 a.m. Area residents started to file into the Farmington Wal-Mart Supercenter just after 4 a.m. Employees handed out maps showing where each of the items would be located. By the time 5 a.m. rolled around crowds had surrounded the items.
Deana Hankins went to Wal-Mart for the 5 a.m. blitz and then went to Value City.
&#8220I am out shopping for everyone in my family, trying to find whatever bargains I can,” Hankins said. I got to Wal-Mart at 4:40 this morning and there was already a crowd there.”
Mary Bourbon of Potosi also went to Wal-Mart for the early morning sale.
&#8220It was a mess,” Bourbon said. &#8220Every time you turned a corner, you were running into someone. People were even stealing the ads out of your carts.”
Bourbon said she had gotten at Wal-Mart at 4 a.m.
&#8220We are just out looking, checking out the bargains,” Bourbon said.