Consumers go on hunt
J.C. Penney is at the top of Fort Wayne holiday shopper Nicole Manny’s list, so on Thanksgiving she was there to take advantage of the bargains.
Manny always grabs a couple of Nicole Miller wristlets, discounted at an irresistible 60 percent off, but boots were also too hard to pass up.
Manny and her twin sister, Jenna Jenkins, bought at least five pairs between them. The Arizona-brand boots advertised at 80. Throw in one of the 10, Manny pointed out.
Mikayla Jones carried a couple boxes of boots as her mother, Janis Jones-Sprott, went to look for something else.
“We buy boots every year,” Jones said. After that, mother and daughter planned to shop at Walmart where there were deals to be had on tablets.
American holiday shopping kicks off with Thanksgiving and Black Friday. According to Swagbucks, an online shopping rewards program, close to 85 percent of Americans said they planned to do some shopping over the Thanksgiving weekend. The majority : 70 percent : said they would shop both in-store and online.
The Thanksgiving Day pre-Black Friday sale at J.C. Penney started at 2 p.m., drawing thousands to the Glenbrook Square merchandiser, store manager Kelly Williams said. The crowds were even greater this year because of several nearby store closings where shoppers might have found comparable deals, she added.
Big on this year’s list were air fryers and fine jewelry, besides the boots, Williams said, although the multipage advertisement flyer evidenced an expansion of items on sale.
Williams said J.C. Penney made the decision to open on Thanksgiving several years ago. Discount coupons handed out at the door are popular. Most of the coupons offered 500 and 40 coupons for $100 were also distributed.
More than 100 people were waiting in line outside Best Buy at Northcrest Shopping Center about an hour before the 5 p.m. opening. Nearly everyone was interested in buying one of the televisions. The hottest item seemed to be the 43-inch Toshiba that normally sells for 129.99.
The Toshiba was a 4K HD “smart” TV with a fire stick and “all that good stuff,” said Terri Urhausen of Fort Wayne, who stood in line with a blanket wrapped around her.
She’d made friends with Madelynn Ford of Warsaw who stood next to her, close to the front of the line. Ford said she was interested in buying a video game controller but was kind of hoping that someone would come buy her spot.
“I haven’t had an offer,” she said, so she decided to stick it out.
At the front of the line was Erick Ruiz, his sister Emily Ruiz and their mother, Maria Saldana.
Saldana intended to buy three televisions, at least one of the 799.99 but reduced to $599.99.
“I don’t do this every year,” Saldana said as she stood in the 32-degree weather. “Right now, we really need the TVs.”