Shoppers hit the stores for after-Christmas sales

December 25, 2010|By KATE S. ALEXANDER |
  • Shoppers fill the Valley Mall in Hagerstown, Sunday, the day after Christmas.
By Colleen McGrath/Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN — Each year, shoppers take advantage of after-Christmas sales to return unwanted merchandise and get the most of their gift cards.

For many of the people in stores Sunday, their day of shopping also was time spent as a family.

Marty Soltis of Inwood, W.Va., said he came to Valley Mall with his wife, Lori, and his daughter, Ashley, 26.

Kati Rowe said she, her mother, Lisa Rowe, and her sister, Amanda Stull, all of Waynesboro, Pa., and a few other family members all met early for breakfast before hitting the sales.

“It’s not so much a tradition as much as we just all had time off together,” Kati Rowe said.
Savana Selzer, 14, of Hagerstown, said she came shopping with her sister Emily Selzer, 8, also of Hagerstown.

Major retailers in Hagerstown welcomed shoppers with extended hours, some opening as early as 5 a.m., to take advantage of sales, return unwanted gifts and make exchanges.

While Marty Soltis waited outside Macy’s for his wife and daughter, he said he tagged along on the shopping for something to do but also for a way to continue spending time together as a family.

Christmas for the Soltis family was “excellent,” he said, in part because this year Ashley was safely home from the Peace Corps. She spent the last few Christmases overseas, he said.

As for the shopping, he said they were there for a mix of returns and new purchases.

“We had a few returns,” he said. “I did get a sweater that I was not too wild about.”

As Kati Rowe waited near the Valley Mall food court for the rest of her family to finish in a checkout line, she remarked that a sale at Old Navy was the major reason her family chose to shop at the mall on Sunday.

“The sales were very good,” she said. “We came for the $15 jeans at Old Navy. We also got a wonderful jacket on sale.”

Lisa Rowe, who came to join her daughter after checking out, said she was more interested in bedding at the department stores than jeans.

“I got a nice set of sheets,” Lisa Rowe said.

The Selzer sisters said they came shopping Sunday to use some of the gift cards they were given for Christmas.

But instead of buying more for herself, Savana said she was spending her money on others.
Tre Jackson, 19, of Winchester, Va., also came shopping to use some of his gift cards.

“I got mostly clothes and shoes,” he said of his purchases. “I’m finding what I want and it is cheap.”

Despite doorbuster deals and “powerful savings” advertised by retailers, shoppers said the crowds seemed smaller than usual.

“It’s not as busy as I anticipated,” Marty Soltis said.

Kati Rowe said the threat of snow might have deterred some shoppers.

The National Weather Service released a winter advisory for snow in the Hagerstown area that it later lifted, according to its website.
Jackson said he was prepared to wait in long checkout lines and found the steady but not overwhelming stream of shoppers a nice reprieve.

For the Selzer sisters, the stores were still at bit too crowded.

“I was not expecting it to be packed,” Savana said. “It was packed at times.”

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