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This Thanksgiving, a whopping shopping feast

Published: Fri, November 29, 2013 @ 12:01 a.m.


Thanksgiving Day shoppers were in high spirits as they entered J.C. Penney’s in Southern Park Mall at 8 p.m. to get a jump on the Christmas shopping season. Several stores in the mall and others on U.S. Route 224 opened on the holiday to kick off what is the busiest retail shopping period of the year.




Although the trend of shopping on Thanksgiving for a few hours before Black Friday is fairly new, you could call Jason Gennaro of Lowellville a veteran.

Gennaro was sitting in a chair in front of the Best Buy on Boardman-Poland Road about 2 p.m. Thursday, one of about 10 people in line to get ready for the store’s 8 p.m. opening for special sales geared to kick-start the Christmas holiday shopping season.

Gennaro said he has been shopping on Thanksgiving for the last four years and he even has a system down. He said it is important to have a “buddy” to save your place in line and to help you take care of “necessary business.”

“You need people to watch when you’re going to the bathroom or going to get something to eat,” Gennaro said.

Best Buy was not the only place open, as shoppers came to several area stores that decided to open for a few hours on Thanksgiving night to augment their Black Friday sales.

Gennaro had a lot of company Thursday, as the parking lot at Best Buy was packed with cars and lines formed outside Southern Park Mall, which opened at 8 p.m. There was a festive mood in some of the lines despite the cold, with some shoppers dancing and singing as they waited for the doors to open.

Courtney Stacy and Caitlin Sheridan, both of Austintown, were lined up outside waiting for the doors to open. Stacy said she did not want to wait until today because the special sales are too good to pass up. She also said she was persuaded to go by Sheridan, who has shopped on Thanksgiving before.

Sheridan said she likes shopping on the holiday because it’s a change of pace and her family celebrates early enough in the day that she does not miss out on anything.

“It’s something different,” Sheridan said.

Sheridan was looking for deals on makeup, while Stacy wanted to go to the Pink store in the mall.

Brian Morris of Youngstown jokingly complained that his wife, Lisa, was making him come out to shop. Lisa Morris said she likes the unique specials and was looking for a deal on a pair of boots.

“I just like having him with me,” Lisa Morris said.

The crowd at the mall looked like one on a typical weekday. Some of the stores had sales for items with prices up to 70 percent off just for the holiday.

Angela Chahine of Canfield was walking through the concourse a few minutes after the mall opened with a pair of new boots she just bought. She said the prices on Thanksgiving are far and away lower than at any other time of the year.

“It’s worth it,” she said of shopping on the holiday.

Gennaro said there was not one particular item he was looking for, but he likes the special sales so he can buy gifts for friends and family. He and his crew had been staking out Best Buy since Tuesday, waiting for a chance to plop their chairs down in line.

Bryan Seidita, also of Lowellville, who was with Gennaro, said he was participating in his second Thanksgiving shopping experience and that the extra effort is worth it for the special sales.

“They’re good deals,” he said.


1allany2525(144 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

I think that Holiday shopping just gets more and
more rediculous with each passing year.

Name the best "bargain" items in just about ANY
retail store on Black Friday and I can probably get
just as good a deal ( or better ) online with E-Bay,
Amazon, or a million other online retail sites......

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2NoBS(2763 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

I find it ironic that, instead of actually being with and spending time with their friends and family, the "bargain hunters" are instead spending that time chasing after material goods, which they ostensibly plan to give to those same people they don't want to actually be with.

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3southsidedave(5189 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

The Holiday Season in this Country has been a joke for a very long time and worsens with each passing year...I always shop online to avoid the craziness in the stores.

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4JoeFromHubbard(1776 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

I agree with southsidedave, I shop in any way possible to avoid the insanity.

An interesting story in the Wall Street Journal revealed that the discounts people think they are getting are often priced into the merchandise long before it hits retailers shelves.

It just makes folks feel good to think that they are getting some kind of a big deal.

Just like "allany2525" posted above, you can usually find the same "bargain" price anytime of the year in many places.

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5borylie(946 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

My sister-in-law and her daughter went shopping last night. Been along time since they've done anything together.

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