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After-Christmas shopping brings long lines, "chaos" to Valley Mall

December 26, 2007|By HEATHER KEELS

HALFWAY ? The sales were on, the gift cards were loaded and the unwanted presents were just begging to be exchanged. It seemed like the formula for the perfect day of shopping at Valley Mall ? until you saw the lines.

"It's chaos," said Ashley Woods, 11, of Mercersburg, Pa., who had gone with her mother Wednesday to spend a $30 gift card on long-sleeved tops and "cute stuff" at Aeropostale, which was having a 50-percent-off sale.

It seemed they weren't the only ones with that idea.

"When we got here, the line was wrapped the whole way around the store," Ashley said.

Also packed was GameStop, where shoppers rummaged through a $14.99-and-under used games bin and lined up in hopes of buying an Xbox 360, which was sold out before Christmas.

Steve Flannery, 39, of Falling Waters, W.Va., said he probably had picked the wrong day to bring his sons in to exchange their used games.

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"I would have thought people would have done their shopping prior to Christmas," he said.

But for 6-year-old Logan DeHaven, the shopping trip was a Christmas present in itself. He had received $50 for Christmas, and couldn't wait another day to spend it on "WWE: Smackdown!" for Nintendo DS, said his mother, Jahna DeHaven, 39, of Berkeley Springs, W.Va.

Logan said he was excited to play the wrestling game.

"You get to fight!" he said.

Also on the agenda for many shoppers Wednesday were the inevitable returns.

Cyndee Sowers, 48, of Mercersburg, waited in line at J.C. Penney to return a sweater her 18-year-old son had received in the mail from his grandmother in Texas.

"It just isn't him," she said. "Kids outgrow styles so fast."

At Bon-Ton, bargain-hunter Debi Northcraft, 53, of Martinsburg, W.Va., tried to persuade an employee to apply a $10-off coupon on top of a 20-percent-off discount.

"If I don't get a bargain, I don't want it," Northcraft said. "I've never paid full price for anything."

Alicia Alford, 43, of Chambersburg, Pa., had been shopping since about 9 a.m. with her mother and two children. By the time they stopped at a jewelry counter in Bon-Ton about 6 p.m., 9-year-old Brandon and 11-year-old Shelby were ready to go home.

"My feet hurt," Brandon said as he sat slumped on the floor, leaning against a display counter.

Luckily, shoes also were on sale.

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