• 68°
franklin county times

Shoppers crowd local stores

By Staff
By William F. West / community editor
November 30, 2002
On your mark, get set, go shopping.
Scores of buyers and browsers ignored chilly Friday morning temperatures to jockey for position at the entrances to the major stores at Bonita Lakes Mall.
By 6 a.m., the doors were opening and the masses were hurrying in to take advantage of after Thanksgiving sales.
For Andrea Portis, 22, of Butler, Ala., a junior at Jackson State University, JCPenney was the first stop. She said Friday marked her first time to go to such a sale and she said she did not have any particular items in mind.
Janet McMurtray, a Meridian native and Jackson resident, and some of her family members were nearby, looking at the numerous items on sale in the main aisles.
McMurtray said she and her family planned to go to as many stores as possible until mid-afternoon, when they expected to be pooped out.
The east end of the mall, anchored by JCPenney and McRae's, was bustling with crowds.
At the inside entrance to McRae's, store workers Sabrina Barfield of Meridian and Karlton Williams of Quitman were handing out packages of Cracker Jacks that contained coupons for discounts or prizes. It was part of the store's "Cracker Jack of a Sale" promotion.
Williams, 28, said he was concerned about the turnout in a weak economy, but said he was pleased with what he was seeing.
On the opposite side of the mall, Dillard's and Sears also welcomed early birds.
Casey Hoffer, 26, of Meridian, a flight line coordinator for Boeing, and his wife, Michelle, were all smiles as they left the Sears store. They got up at 4:30 a.m. to get into Sears.
Asked what prompted them to get up at such an hour to go shopping, Hoffer said, "She did."
Friday was his first time to go to an after Thanksgiving sale. She said she's been going for years.
Asked what they had bought so far, she said, "We got a camcorder. It was a great deal."
No doubt they'll use it to preserve the memories of their two children, Catherine, 4, and Jake, 18 months.