by BOB GAETJENS | EDITOR
Streetsboro — By the morning of Nov. 23, there were no lines, no crowds, but lots of sales receipts in hand at Streetsboro stores.
Since Kmart and Target were both open on Thanksgiving, management at those stores believe the normal rush on Nov. 23, Black Friday, was blunted.
However, that did not mean sales were a bust, according to Jill Stamper, an assistant manager at Kmart.
“Yesterday was record-setting,” she said, referring to Thanksgiving Day.
Kmart had several openings and closings on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday and fresh doorbuster sales for most openings.
On Thanksgiving, Stamper said 350 shoppers were lined up at 6 a.m. After closing at 4 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, the store reopened at 8 p.m. that night with a line of 400 to 450 shoppers.
“That line last night is what we typically have this morning,” she said.
The store closed at 3 a.m. on Black Friday, then reopened at 5 a.m., when about 150 shoppers were lined up, said Stamper.
Target also experienced large crowds on the night of Thanksgiving, according to Beth Kaminsky, executive team leader of human resources at Target’s Streetsboro store.
“We were extremely busy,” she said. “Everyone was coming in for our doorbuster. I heard someone say the line went out to Route 303.”
Kaminsky thinks people like shopping after Thanksgiving dinner better than the next morning.
“It seemed like it was pretty successful,” she said. “You don’t have wake up 2 a.m. to get here now. After you eat, there’s not much to do so [shoppers] just ran out here.”
Shellane James, an assistant manager at Kmart, said she had expected a slowdown on the night of Thanksgiving.
“It did not slow down at all,” she said.
Garrettsville resident Annette Yeager, a Steelers fan, said she’s trying to turn her 9-month-old grandson, Isaac, to her side in the Steelers-Browns rivalry, seeking Steelers gear at Kmart for him as a Christmas present.
“His parents are Browns fans,” she said with a laugh.
James said TVs and other electronics are popular this year, a trend for several years.
Stamper said Kmart also offered a buy-one, get-one-free deal on any footwear, which was popular.
“Footwear was crazy,” she said.
Shellane said one product that caused a buzz this year was the new Wii U gaming system, which was released Nov. 18 and produced crowds that day.
“Sunday morning I had to open the doors, and it was like, ‘It’s not doorbusters yet,’” she said of the crowds clamoring for the new video game system.
Kaminsky said TVs, iPads and low-priced DVDs were popular at Target.
Other items that were popular were deeply discounted Craftsman tools and $2 bathroom towels, she added.
Kaminsky said most of what people bought appeared to be gifts, but there were some items less likely to be gifts marked down in housewares and bedding — comforters and sheets, for example — that were popular, as well.
Routine lines crowds also were the rule at Staples and Walmart in Streetsboro between about 8 and 10 a.m. Nov. 23.