Shoppers rush to stores for post-holiday bargains
Shoppers had all kinds of reasons for being out and about on the day after Christmas — some buying for others, some for themselves.
Joe Davis of New Kensington was making rounds that included stops at Walgreens and Kmart. For him, after-Christmas 2013 bargains will become gifts for Christmas 2014.
“It works out real good,” he said. “You can get everything you want for next year.”
Leslie Ortman of New Kensington was armed with a $10 coupon for J.C. Penney and looking for anything on sale.
“I just wanted to shop for me,” she said. “It was my turn.”
A new coat was one of the things Ortman said she needed — and found.
“I'm going to the Steelers game on Sunday,” she said. “I'm on the 50-yard line behind the Steelers' bench.”
Snow that left an inch or two on the ground around the region overnight into Thursday morning wasn't a problem for shoppers. Roads were mostly wet as morning clouds gave way to afternoon sun.
It was a stark contrast to a year ago, when heavy snow caused Route 28 near Pittsburgh Mills mall to be closed, and stores shut down early because of the weather.
“We're busy,” said Jerry Zvonkovich, manager of Kmart in New Kensington. “People are spending their gift cards from Christmas. The snow doesn't seem to be scaring anybody away.”
Zvonkovich said his store opened at 8 a.m. as usual and had half-off deals on seasonal goods such as Christmas decorations and trees, gift wrap, toys, apparel and gift sets.
Melissa Colcagno of Arnold got waylaid by some of those deals as she made her way through Kmart to the toy section, looking to replace a Lego set for her son that is missing pieces.
Some will become gifts.
“I think you can always ‘gift' up through New Year's,” she said. “It's never too late for presents.”
Data company ShopperTrak predicts that the after-holiday crowds will be the fifth-largest of the year. Nearly 8 in 10 consumers surveyed for digital coupon marketplace RetailMeNot said they plan to shop year-end sales after the holidays.
Retailers were opening early and offering deep discounts to attract shoppers and spur sales.
“A lot of places are having clearance sales and whatnot,” said Mike Huston of Fawn, who picked up storage bins at Kmart at half-price to hold his Christmas ornaments.
J.C. Penney at Pittsburgh Mills mall opened at 7 a.m., three hours earlier than usual, offering “doorbuster” deals that were good until 1 p.m.
“It's busy. They're definitely shopping,” said Traci Kral, a member of management at J.C. Penney. “We don't see a lot of returns yet. It looks like they're spending.”
Susan Lattanzio of Harrison was ringing a bell by the Salvation Army kettle outside J.C. Penney. Over a couple hours, she saw more people walking out with stuff than they were bringing in for returns — with some taking purchases out to their cars, then going back in for more.
She even saw two walk out with Christmas trees.
“It's a busy day,” she said. “Look at the people coming out.”
Kelli Dickerson made her way to Pittsburgh Mills with family despite living in East Liberty.
“We know Monroeville was going to be crazy,” she said.
“I'd much rather come here than Monroeville,” said her mother, Mary Ann Dickerson, also of East Liberty.
Marjorie Cummings of McConnellsburg was visiting family in West Deer — and taking advantage of deals at J.C. Penney to buy wedding gifts that were on registries at other stores for much higher prices.
Cummings and her sister-in-law, Susan Walter of West Deer, had been out since 6 a.m. They traveled to Bon-Ton near Butler before heading to Pittsburgh Mills for stops at Macy's and J.C. Penney.
They said they were finding good deals, but limited selection, especially in clothes.
“The sizes are limited,” Cummings said.
Davis was among shoppers who were nervous about shopping at Target after a recent data breach that compromised credit and debit card information. He said he would go only if there was a good deal he could pay for with cash.
“I'm not using my credit card there,” he said. “I just don't trust the system now. We work too hard for our money for somebody to grab it.”
The Los Angeles Times contributed to this report. Brian C. Rittmeyer is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4701 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Arnold woman severely injured in Allegheny Township wreck
- Lower Burrell 5th-grader illustrates power of kindness with cancer charity
- Second teen charged in Jan. 1 Tarentum shooting
- Woman killed in Washington Township crash
- Riverview might ask to raise taxes above 2.3% limit
- Weather postpones Route 56 closure in New Kensington
- ATI steam explosion in Harrison rocked homes in four counties
- Harrison officials discuss grant applications for sidewalks, sewers
- Corps advises to haul radioactive waste out of Parks Township dump
- New Kensington police search for home burglary suspect
- Kiski Area accepts superintendent’s resignation