Shoppers delight in the season, buy out TVs | NevadaAppeal.com

Shoppers delight in the season, buy out TVs

Jill Keller, Appeal Staff Writer

Sandra Rich looks through the clothing racks at Gottschalks Friday. Rich along with millions of others hit the stores Friday looking for sale prices to start the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. Photo by Brian Corley

Oh, the weather outside was chilly,

But buying TVs was thrilling,

And with plenty of places to stop,

Let ’em shop, let ’em shop, let ’em shop.

Shoppers were loading up new, 27-inch televisions at the crack of dawn Friday like they were as common as cartons of milk at Wal-Mart in Douglas County.

For $148, several hundred TVs were hauled around the store, perched precariously atop carts as people wound their way through the aisles.

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The televisions sold out within an hour as thousands flocked to the store for a special sale the day after Thanksgiving, said store manager Dedrea Struck.

“We’ve basically doubled our sales,” she said. “We’re just happy to be in our new store, and the community was wonderful today. Everyone was so nice today.”

The Carson Mall also welcomed locals seeking special gifts. Clerk Karen Stout at Gottschalks said the store was “having a great day.”

“I love the Christmas season,” she said. “It’s so much fun.”

Pam Robinson of Carson City had been to four stores by noon with her daughter and grandson. The best deal she found in Carson City was jewelry, she said.

“We’ve bought quite a few things,” Robinson said.

Lucas Miller, 11, went shopping with his dad, Ryan, of South Lake Tahoe. They picked up a video player and television for the living room.

“It’s fun ’cause I got new stuff,” Lucas said.

The shopping season between Thanksgiving Day and Dec. 25 is one week shorter this year. The Washington-based National Retail Federation predicts total holiday retail sales, which exclude restaurant spending and auto sales, will increase by 4 percent to roughly $209.25 billion. That would make it the weakest increase since 1997, federation officials said.

According to the Gallup Organization’s survey of 3,000 consumers, Americans are projected to spend $769 each on gifts this holiday — about $51 less than last year, which in turn was lower than 2000 and 1999.

While Thanksgiving weekend starts the shopping spree, it no longer is the busiest period of the season. Last year, the weekend accounted for 8.4 percent of holiday sales. The busiest period was the last week before Christmas.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.