Shopping rush continues – with returns and gift cards |

Shopping rush continues – with returns and gift cards

Karl Horeis
BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal Hansina Mickschl, from left, shops for bargains with her children Morgan, 5, Madison, 6, and Zachary, 2, at the Wal-Mart store Friday morning.

he rush to buy Christmas gifts is over but shoppers are still flocking to area stores. The thrifty are buying marked-down Christmas items while others return unwanted Christmas gifts or use their gift cards.

At the Wal-Mart store in Jack’s Valley on Saturday six of the 37 checkout stands were for returns only.

“I’d say we’ve had, oh, maybe 3,000 returns today,” said store manager Larry Lampkin. Because of the rush he closed the customer service desk to returns for three days.

“There’s just such a huge volume of returns that we do it out at the registers. It seems to work faster and we don’t get as much of a bind at the courtesy desk that way.”

Shoppers had to learn the new system.

“I’m sorry ma’am, this aisle is for returns only,” said cashier Mindy Wills to a woman with groceries. Then Mills helped Marion Boik return three bundles of yarn.

“I was making an afghan and I buy extra. If there’s any left I bring it back,” she said.

Giovanni Locatelli brought in two outfits she bought for her twin nieces.

“I bought four altogether because I couldn’t decide,” she explained. “I needed my husband’s opinion. These are cute but I decided to go with the more Christmasy black and red velvet.”

Tim and Jennifer Week brought back a Microsoft wireless mouse.

“I got an M.E. – this only works on X.P.,” he said.

“When we tried to use it the computer said, ‘This device is not supported,'” added his wife. They were making returns all over town, heading next to Bed Bath & Beyond.

Folks brought in returns all day Saturday but Friday was worse, said Wal-Mart Support Manager Konnie Johnson.

“Oh yeah, we had people lined up with baskets,” she said.

Each register had two collections, one for claims, which are broken items, the other for returns. The piles were varied: snowboards, tea kettles, jackets, a Food Saver home vacuum packing system -even fudge-covered Oreos.

At Gottschalks in Carson City things were running smoothly despite the rush.

“There are a lot of returns but that’s normal,” said store manager Sue St.Marie. “And they are purchasing way more than they are returning. They’re buying the sale things like crazy.”

At the Best Buy store in Jack’s Valley most of the returns were exchanges.

“People are bringing in a lot of karaoke machines and CDs,” said inventory manager Danielle Greenlaw.

The big news at Border’s books is gift cards – an increasingly popular Christmas gift.

“More and more people are using gift cards for presents – especially in a bookstore because it’s so hard to pick out something that people don’t already have or haven’t already read,” said Megan Kelly, service manager at the store.

Farther north in Carson things were quieter, but still bustling.

“We get a few rushes here and there,” said cashier Alicia Staats at Office Depot on Fairview Drive. “Today’s been pretty steady but nothing completely out of the ordinary.”

Things were pretty much normal at True Valley Hardware on Highway 50 East, according to store manager Kerry Hodges.

“Business is down slightly from last year but it isn’t too bad. I think it’s because of the construction we’ve got going on in the parking lot more than anything else.”

Contact Karl Horeis at or 881-1219.