Shoppers flood area stores for holiday sales

Published 6:23 am Friday, November 28, 2008

Area stores offered deep discounts, early morning opening times and holiday specials, all in an effort to entice shoppers to open up their wallets Friday morning. Shoppers responded by lining up at their doors — some several hours before the stores were set to open.

“I have been here since midnight,” Vanessa King said at 4 a.m. Friday morning standing in the front of a long line of shoppers outside the Belk store at the Natchez Mall Friday morning.

Belk didn’t open their doors until 5 a.m. King and her friends wanted to be the first to get a free gift card that could be worth up to $5,000.

Email newsletter signup

Other stores offered other deals and opened their doors very early Friday. At 4 a.m. J.C. Penney was handing out special holiday ornaments for its first customers. The parking lot in front of the Natchez Mall was already full before 4:30 a.m. as shoppers streamed into the store.

Across the river, shoppers were lining up in front of the Vidalia Walmart Supercenter in hopes of taking advantage of the early morning specials offered by the national retailer. The store did not open until 5 a.m., but that didn’t prevent some customers from braving intermittent showers and the dark of night. Fifteen minutes before the store doors opened the line of customers had extended to the back of the store’s parking. Some had been waiting in line for more than three hours — a line that disappeared in less than three minutes as customers flooded the store for electronics and other sales.