Shoppers here brave crowds for Black Friday bargains

Published 9:04 am Saturday, November 27, 2004

By By SPIROS GALLOS / Niles Daily Star
NILES - Local retailers opened their doors early Friday morning, hoping to entice shoppers with limited time sales which offered exceptionally low prices on many items.
The early holiday shoppers turned out for the sales, searching out gifts for friends and family at rock-bottom prices.
Jerry Lundy of Dowagiac found the Hewlett-Packard computer, which he bought as a gift for his grandchildren, he was searching for on his trip to the Wal-Mart Supercenter, 2107 S. 11th St., Niles.
Lundy said he was picking up the computer as a favor for his wife, who does all the Christmas shopping.
Some made the shopping trip a family event like Ashley Horner of Potterville, who was visiting her family in Niles for the Thanksgiving Holiday. Horner and her mother, Tina, braved the crowds at Wal-Mart to pick up a DVD player which was on sale for about $27.
The Horners, who both admitted to being procrastinators, said about 10 percent of their holiday shopping was done on Friday.
Sue Chesser of Buchanan found everything she was looking for at Wal-Mart, despite not getting up early Friday morning.
Chesser got to the store around 10 a.m. to buy a DVD player and a portable DVD player, both which were on special sale, as well as a radio, which Chesser picked up because it was at a low price, she said.
Chesser said her trip Friday was her first holiday shopping outing of the season.
Others weren't so lucky in their shopping expeditions. While Gary Shepherdson of Berrien Springs did find the Lexmark color printer he was looking to purchase for $28, he was unlucky in finding a Spiderman doll for his grandson.
Down the streets at the Niles Lowe's Home Improvement store, there were plenty of deals to be had and plenty of shoppers who made a trip out to get savings of almost 50 percent off some items.
Mike Tucker of South Bend, Ind., took advantage of the after Thanksgiving sale to pick up some wedding presents for his friend, who actually got married at the store Friday morning.
Tucker picked up a 16 gallon shop-vac, which normally retails for $88, for about $48, and an impact hammer for his friend.
The shop-vac was a popular item at the store, moments later, Darrel Heater of South Bend, Ind., pushed one out to his car, with his mother, Beverly, in tow.
Heater made the trip to Niles to buy the shop-vac for his mother as a Christmas gift.
But some who waited, like Marge Frost of Niles, who wanted a shop-vac, couldn't find the item of their desire when they arrived at the store. But the trip wasn't a complete waste for Frost and her husband, who bought a Christmas tree and decorations at the store.
As for her holiday shopping, Frost said she is already done. Everyone she knows asked for cash or gift cards, she said. Frost said she will make a few more trips out to the stores during the shopping season, mostly to pick up stocking stuffers and the like.
Some shoppers at the store took advantage of the holiday sale to buy themselves some necessary items.
Marcy Rudell of Buchanan bought a vacuum to replace hers which broke just the other day.
Rudell pick up an upright vacuum normally priced $118, for $68.
Rudell admitted to not starting her Christmas shopping yet, but said she plans to get the job done all at once.
Bob Redding of Galien made the trip to the Niles Lowe's to pick up some items which were on sale for his personal use. Redding picked up a fire safe for $69 and a Dremel power tool for $29. The safe normally retails for $107 while the Dremel retails for $39.
Since Redding doesn't celebrate Christmas for religious reasons, he doesn't have any plans to make any special shopping trips this holiday season.
Sharon Collins of Cassopolis took advantage of the day after Thanksgiving sale to pick up supplies for her house which is being remodeled.
Collins picked up ceramic tile at the price of 54 cents a tile, saving over 60 percent off the normal price of $1.88 per tile.
Collins hasn't even thought about her Christmas shopping yet, but said she plans to do it over a couple of weeks in December.