After Christmas sales draw minimal crowds at mall

Andy Maes and his son Aaryn, 11, glance back at Sears, where they had just picked up jeans for $10 a pair during the store’s day after Christmas sale Friday.

Every year it’s the same story. The day after Christmas, prices fall.

But this year, perhaps because of an uncertainty about what the economy will do in 2009, the crowds of shoppers were relatively thin at Mesa Mall in Grand Junction.

“I pulled into the Target parking lot, and I was stunned,” said Liz Hochevar, who was carrying two full bags of discounted goodies through the mall at 8:30 a.m. Friday.

Hochevar was amazed that she found a good parking spot and that there were no lines when she exchanged a gift and when she purchased a few new items.

“No lines,” Hochevar said. “It’s sad; it is sad.”

The deals were out there.

The Friday edition of The Daily Sentinel had several inserts promoting slashed prices. The JC Penney’s “Doorbusters” sale started at 5:30 a.m., Sears had its own “Doorbusters” sale starting at 7 a.m., Kohl’s advertised a 6 a.m. “Earlybirds” sale, and for those who slept in, the Sports Authority’s “After Christmas” sale and Circuit City’s “3-day sale” kicked off at 8 a.m.

Andy Maes and his 11-year-old son, Aaryn, heard on the national news that Sears was selling jeans for $10 each.

“They had some killer bargains on jeans,” Andy said.

His son was not so thrilled. The remote control helicopter his parents bought him was broken. Andy intended to exchange the item, but the kiosk at the mall where his parents purchased it was gone.

Other children were not so disappointed.

Shaun Oberding stood with his two nephews, waiting 15 minutes prior to opening, for Gamestop’s doors to swing wide. It was no bargain they were looking for. His nephews wanted a new game to play, and he was willing to pay $50 for each.

Oberding said he wanted to get there early and beat the crowds. “And then head back home,” he said.

Linda Cox wasn’t heading home anytime soon. Holding her purchases from one store, she was on the lookout for somewhere to spend her next dollar. Cox estimated she had saved around $100 — “with the coupons,” she said.

Cathy Foster, in town from Cheyenne, Wyo., visiting her mother, was without coupons but full of Christmas spirit.

“It’s the bargains; it’s the clearances,” Foster said, hands full of bags.

She had ornaments, sweaters. trinkets and thank-you notes. They were all presents to give friends and family Dec. 25, 2009.

“I’m a giver,” she said.

The bargains and the clearance prices made Foster believe she was saving money. She wasn’t sure her husband would feel the same when she returned home though.

“He would say I spent two times as much as regular,” she said.


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