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Bargain-hunters race for after-Christmas deals

December 26, 2009|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

HALFWAY -- Like a gas pedal approaching the floor, the numbers rolled up at Valley Mall on Saturday -- 10 percent, 40 percent, 70 percent off.

One day after Christmas, shoppers who packed the mall liked the discounts they saw.

Maggie Richardson of Hagerstown said she found "awesome" deals at Bon-Ton, Yankee Candle and elsewhere.

Her mother, Alice LaNeve of Falls Church, Va., bought two Pittsburgh Steelers shirts and a third shirt with Steelers' colors for around $50 total, which is what one shirt alone might have cost normally.

"So I think I made out pretty well," she said.

Among the Richardson family's Christmas presents, there was only one to return -- a clothing item that didn't fit -- letting them spend most of their mall time on spending.

Deals were waiting for people "if they don't mind waiting in line," David Richardson said, referring to his 15-year-old son, A.J., who was coping with the crowd at Game Stop.

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Actually, both Game Stop locations in the mall were teeming with shoppers.

At times, the line at the one closer to the food court spilled outside the shop.

Ronald Fulmer of Hagerstown, briefly at the end of that line, was buying a controller for a computer. His brothers had fanned out to other shops.

Mary Wiles of Waynesboro, Pa., one place ahead of Fulmer in line, was picking up Nintendo GameCube video games for her sons.

Dalton, 8, had a Pac-Man game. Brandon, 5, had one with Shadow the Hedgehog and one with Super Mario.

"This is my late Christmas present," he said.

Wiles agreed, but noted the boys received lots of other Christmas gifts.

Near Macy's, Linda Trace of Chambersburg, Pa., sat with grandson Ethan Miller, 8, of Ephrata, Pa., who knows her as Meemaw.

Trace figured it took Ethan about an hour and a half to open all of his Christmas gifts, which included an Xbox 360 video game system, a remote-controlled truck and a Razor scooter that emits sparks.

They were at the mall to see "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel," which Trace declared "excellent."

She wasn't planning to shop, but she saw a good deal on a sweater at Macy's and bought it.

There was no infant in the stroller next to Melissa Davis of Martinsburg, W.Va. -- only purchases.

Sitting for a spell, Davis said she took advantage of discounts of 50 percent at J.C. Penney and 70 percent at Aeropostale. Old Navy had jeans for $15 and shirts for $5.

She was accompanied by her sister, a friend, a niece and four children, who she said were getting into the shopping spirit, too.

Retailers appeared glad to see the crowds.

The Calendar Club kiosk, where 2010 calendars were marked down 50 percent, was "very busy," Elizabeth Assefa said after ringing up a purchase.

"They're out here in droves," Hickory Farms employee Tonia Murphy said.

Hickory Farms had cut its prices in half, too.

"'Til it's gone," employee Candi Hetherly said.

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