Returns, bargains bring shoppers back to stores

December 26, 1999

Gift returnsBy KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI / Staff Writer

photo: JOE CROCETTA / staff photographer

The lines were long and aisles full at area stores as holiday shoppers made their way back to retailers Sunday to return gifts and take advantage of after-Christmas bargains.

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The customer service line at Kmart on Wesel Boulevard was almost out the door Sunday afternoon - typical for this time of year, said Department Manager Cindy Miller.

She said people were most often bringing back clothing and toys.

Sandy Burger of Hagerstown waited patiently in the return line to bring back a pair of shoes that didn't fit.

Despite the advertised sales, she didn't plan on making a day of shopping, she said.

"I don't like crowds," Burger said.

More than 10 check-out lanes at the store were operating and customers with overflowing shopping carts could be seen throughout the store.


Courtney Garnand of Smithsburg came to Kmart with her friend Tammy Smith of Hagerstown to get some sale items.

The store is a favorite of Garnand's and known for its special sales, she said.

Garnand bought a singing Christmas log she had her eye on before the holiday. The novelty was discounted because its nose was missing.

"We came to find bargains," said Smith, who was pushing a shopping cart filled with several 21-gallon plastic storage containers she will use for toys.

Judy McGhee of Hagerstown said she didn't have any returns to make this year but spent the afternoon shopping with her two children.

"A lot of people gave me money this year as a gift," she said.

Cars filled the parking lot at the Valley Mall on Halfway Boulevard.

Some patrons milled about stores focusing on the holiday ornaments, reduced to half price at most places.

At The Bon Ton, Kim Guesford of Martinsburg, W.Va., said she lucked out in finding a Seymour Mann angel doll on sale.

"I saw it before and didn't take advantage, so I wanted to buy it today," she said.

The red-headed female doll stood about a foot tall and had gold wings. Guesford said she will add it to her angel collection.

"Angels have a special meaning for me," she said.

Guesford said she shopped in Martinsburg before coming to Hagerstown and had many stops planned for the day.

As of 3 p.m. on Sunday, Claire's at Valley Mall hadn't had one return but plenty of patrons, said manager Cookie Goss of Hagerstown.

Customers were steady all day, she said many were buying New Year's accessories, which were on sale.

"A lot of kids got money for Christmas and they want to spend it," she said.

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