Holiday shoppers off to an early start on Thanksgiving Day

November 24, 2011|By DAN DEARTH |
  • Robin Mills
Photo by Dan Dearth

HAGERSTOWN — For Robin Mills and Ashley Halteman, Thanksgiving Day shopping at the Kmart off Massey Boulevard was just a warm-up for the big game on Black Friday.

Halteman, 21, said she drove two hours from her home in Pennsylvania to see Mills in Hagerstown.

The mother-daughter duo said their Thanksgiving plans involved shopping at Kmart, eating dinner, getting a little rest — then waiting in line at Sears early on Black Friday morning to snare some big savings.

“We want to be out by 3 (a.m.) Friday,” Halteman said. “I’ll look for anything I can find.”

Mills said getting deals early in the holiday shopping season are well worth waking up before the crack of dawn.

“It doesn’t bother me getting up that early,” Mills said. “The savings are tremendous. They’re wonderful.”

Kmart Assistant Manager John Spierenburg said shoppers formed a line and patiently waited outside until the store opened on Thursday at 6 a.m. He said the store will open at 5 a.m. today and at 6 a.m. Saturday.

“I see a lot of TVs that go out and video games,” Spierenburg said of the hottest-selling items. “That’s the biggest crunch you have is the electronics.”

Spierenburg said Thanksgiving weekend is one of Kmart’s busiest times of the year, primarily because customers can save up to 70 percent on certain items.

One of the shoppers looking for those savings was Robert Mort, of State Line, Pa.

Mort, 49, said he rarely goes holiday shopping early, but went to Kmart on Thursday to see what they had for his 7-year-old daughter, Autumn, and 14-year-old son, Tyler.

“I’m usually the last-minute shopper,” he said. “But there’s no way I’m coming out (on Black Friday) to do this.”

Hagerstown residents Jennifer Murphy, 29, and LaTeiria Tyler, 35, said they left their mother at home to cook Thanksgiving dinner so they could get some early shopping out of the way.

They said the Kmart shopping was nice, but they were really waiting for the 10 o’clock sale at Walmart later that night.

“This is a warm-up,” Tyler said. “I want to look and make sure the kids have a nice Christmas and enjoy the holiday.”

Kmart wasn’t the only store open on Thanksgiving in Hagerstown.

Chris Kochera and his wife, Brandi, said they inadvertently ended up at Dollar General in the Longmeadow Shopping Center after they left the house to get a few last-minute things for Thanksgiving.

Chris Kochera said he bought a digital camera at the store and a $40 Atari game system for $24. The sale was good only on Thanksgiving.

The Kocheras said they also bought Christmas stockings for their children to decorate after Thanksgiving dinner.

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