Shoppers hit Carson-area stores for the big day

Sunny weather and tantalizing prices were bonuses for Carson Country shoppers hitting the stores Friday for the traditional "biggest shopping day of the year."

Some store managers reported record sales and traffic, while shoppers said they had good luck finding the items they wanted without leaving the area.

"Never shop Reno. We want our sales tax money going to Carson City," Daniel Patterson said as his family, all from Carson, loaded purchases into their car in the Target parking lot. "Except in this case, the taxes will go to Douglas County, but that's still better than to Reno."

The new Carson City Target Store south of the Carson City/Douglas County line opened last month. Joyce Patterson said the selection of items was good. She added that she would still do some gift shopping from catalogs for certain hard-to-find gifts.

Eva Webb, of Carson City, in a light jacket and squinting in the afternoon sun, said she also was successful in locating items on her list at Target. She said she would still have to go to Reno to buy some high-end things.

"Until we have a Macy's here, I'll have to go to Reno for some shopping," Webb said.

Vickie Kuras, guest service team leader in charge of the Target store, said Friday, "Today went just wonderful. We had a lot of very lovely guests."

The store added a few more employees since its opening to handle holiday crowds, she said.

Wal-Mart store manager Mike Ray said shoppers were lined up from the front door past the garden center at 6 a.m. after closing for Thanksgiving. Wal-Mart is ordinarily open 24-hours a day.

"Our numbers are about the same, but this will be our biggest day ever," said Ray, who has been in the Carson store for four holiday seasons. "We had more of what they wanted, basically."

Ray said the holiday purchasing decisions made at the Wal-Mart home office are getting better every year.

Not that shoppers are limiting their quests to a single store. As a woman led a string of grandchildren through the Wal-Mart parking lot, one boy called out, "Now, let's go to Target!"

Business at the SuperKmart also was healthy Friday, store director Brad Johnson said, but the sales record was set Thursday, the third Thanksgiving the store has been open.

"Thanksgiving has been getting bigger every year," Johnson said. "My sales today are about the same as last year, but Thursday was the big day."

Kari Jones said that Friday was better than last year at The Bristlecone shop, near Telegraph Square. The store opened five years ago.

"Lots of people came right in when we opened at 9 a.m., an hour early, just for today," Jones said.

"And were people buying? We had lots of sales - wow! I'm thinking I should have ordered more this year."

Jones added that when she did her shopping months ago, she could not know that several new shops would open in the former court and district attorney spaces across Telegraph Street. Friday, dozens of shoppers and browsers were drifting from store to store near the revamped intersection.

Treasure Basket owner Sharon Fredlund said business for her weeks-old store was very steady Friday.

Next door, Ronnie Hannaman of Fashion Statement! on Telegraph Square said she had lots of traffic Friday.

"Sales have been about medium. So far, there's been more lookers than buyers, but it's been very good," Hannaman said.

Back at the department stores, Ray said the first items to sell out Friday at Wal-Mart were computers, but all the consumer electronics were very popular. He said more computers and other gift selections will be shipped continuously for the season.

Johnson said any items featuring Pokemons, the Japanese fad, were moving fast at SuperKmart. But so were electronics.

"The price points on televisions and VCRs are so low this year, they are very popular," Johnson said.


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