12/26/05 — Many happy returns and sales

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Many happy returns and sales

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on December 26, 2005 1:50 PM

The ring of cash registers replaced the ring of Christmas bells today as opportunistic shoppers took advantage of post-holiday sales to look for bargains at stores in Goldsboro.

Several stores opened early for advertised "early-bird" sales. The doors opened at 6 a.m. at Wal-Mart and J.C. Penney, at 7 a.m. at Belk, Michaels and Target and at 8 a.m. at Kmart.

At Kmart, Kathleen Hinson of LaGrange was getting a jump on next year by buying wrapping paper and gift boxes. She said gift cards were a big hit among her grandchildren, who also planned some heavy shopping over the next few days.

"They can't wait to get into the games in the video section," she said.

Lori Barnes was shopping for late Christmas presents with her husband. She said he gives her money on Christmas to buy what she wants the day after. They were making their third stop after getting an early start, she said.

Jennifer Denning of Goldsboro said she was picking up items for next Christmas but was having trouble finding gift bags. She said she had already found just about everything else on her list, including decorations.

"I try not to go crazy with it," she said.

Kmart store manager Maria Minor said most of the customers who arrived early were looking for bargains. She said she expected people who wanted to return items to start filtering in as the day goes on.

"It's hard to compare this to last year. Last year, we had snow," she said.

Rhonda Davis of Goldsboro was loading gift boxes into her car in front of Michael's in the Eastgate shopping center. She said she found them at half-price and added that her mother was inside buying a wreath for next year.

Two shoppers in Michael's were from the Washington, D.C. area. Janice Scott Raynor and Cecelia King were down to visit relatives over the holidays. They said part of their Christmas tradition was to shop before heading back home.

"When I come home for Christmas, I don't go back home until I do the after-Christmas shopping," Ms. Raynor said.

They were in search of decorations and gifts for next year "and just the fun of being out to see what bargains you can find."

Floyd and Dianne Lake were at Belk at Berkeley Mall to exchange a shirt and check out the discounts.

"Just seeing if there's anything that we want," Mrs. Lake said. "I like to buy gift cards and gift wrap."

Virginia Barfield of Smithfield said she came to Goldsboro today to run errands, but decided to do some bargain hunting while she was in town. She carried two bags from J.C. Penney.

"I came really for the sales. This is the first time I've ever done it after Christmas," she said.

She said she was pleased with the discounts she found.

"It's been nice. They've had some big sales."

Ramona Jones and her daughter, Jessi Gurley of Princeton, took advantage of discounted silverware in Belk's Home and Kids department.

"This is very heavy," Mrs. Jones said, while carrying several shopping bags.

"We had two exchanges, and we wanted to take advantage of the sales," she said.

Beth Cassidy said she jumped at the chance to purchase an artificial Christmas tree at half price. Also in her cart were decorations and birthday presents for her grandchildren.

"Each year, I try to add a little something for next year," she said, showing off a box of Christmas ornaments.

Mrs. Cassidy said she started her shopping at Target at about 7:45 a.m. There weren't as many shopper out at that hour as she had expected, she said.

"I was amazed when I started. They were pretty quiet. I think they're picking up."

Terry Aycock of Pikeville and his wife, Joy, took in the sales with their daughter, Renee, and son-in-law Willie Person. They said they were trying to get a head start on next Christmas. The foursome had already purchased a Santa Claus suit, along with lights and decorations. They said they planned to stop soon and take a break.

"You have to have food to keep going," Aycock said.